Once, the only infiltrator an apartment house doorman had to worry about was the guy who slipped Chinese food menus under everyone’s door. Now the men who hail taxis and open doors are the front line against terrorism in Manhattan’s posher precincts. Doormen, superintendents and other workers in residential buildings are learning about weapons of mass destruction and the goals of terrorist organizations in a program sponsored by New York City police, the building workers’ union and real estate management companies, reports USA Today.
In a four-hour session, the building workers learn that an exterminator’s canister, for instance, can be used to spread chemical weapons against humans, not just cockroaches. They find out what to do if a suspicious package arrives (evacuate the area and call 911) and what to ask someone who phones in a bomb threat (the location of the bomb and name and address of the bomber). A police detective teaches the classes under an arrangement with the building workers’ union. It will take more than a year to train all 28,000 workers in the city’s residential buildings, union officials say. But the classes will be accelerated for workers near Madison Square Garden, where the Republican National Convention will be held Aug. 30-Sept. 2.