We all share a responsibility and duty

By Doug Morris, OOIDA Director of Security Operations

This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. We will again see an onslaught of Security Awareness Bulletins from the Department of Homeland Security as this day fast approaches. These bulletins are used to encourage awareness from the public and private-sector partners in the security and counterterrorism sectors.

Each year the Department of Homeland Security issues terror alerts. However, we as a nation have become complacent in our daily lives, and many have forgotten the thousands of people killed and maimed in terrorist attacks on this country’s soil.

These reports always conclude with the statement that “there is no specific credible information that a terrorist event may occur.” This statement alarms me the most as this could be the same statement used before Sept.11, 2001, or the Oklahoma City bombing or any of the lone wolf terror events. Those alerts tell me that the Department of Homeland Security and its intelligence analysts need the help of dedicated professionals who are aware of their “domain.”

In our case, it’s the professional truck driver who hauls everything from food stuffs to hazardous materials to military equipment. Truckers know our nation’s routes, bridges and ports like no other.

We must continue to operate on the premise that terrorists and lone offenders not yet identified by the intelligence community may be operating in the United States and could advance and execute attacks with little or no warning.

We have a responsibility and duty to protect this country and our returning patriots from overseas. We can make a difference. One call could save the lives of thousands.

The easiest way for a professional trucker to become involved is through the First Observer program. Regardless of whether or not you become a First Observer, you can still call in suspicious activity to the First Observer Call Center at 888-217-5902. The program is the point of contact for all transportation security and terrorist concerns, whether you drive a truck, motor coach, school bus or any other commercial vehicle.

As we celebrate 235 years of independence, we as citizens of this great country need to continue to protect it from unwarranted attacks by terrorists and their sympathizers. LL