Uniform, ID and badge theft a concern, Homeland Security says

| 7/28/2003

Hundreds of uniforms, IDs and badges have been stolen or lost, raising concerns they could be used by terrorists, the Homeland Security Department said July 24.

The department is urging authorities nationwide, as well as security officials in the private sector, to be more vigilant.

An “Information Bulletin” sent out this week said stolen uniforms, badges and other identification from law enforcement, government or private companies could be used by terrorists who want access to sensitive sites to carry out attacks.

But spokesman David Wray cautioned that the bulletin is simply meant to raise awareness about a potential problem.

“We have no specific threats to indicate that something like this is imminent,” he said, as reported by The Associated Press.

The department studied “selected members” of law-enforcement communities in five states, and it found that hundreds of official ID cards, badges, decals, uniforms and government license plates were reported stolen or lost.

The study covered February to May of this year.

The advisory was sent to state, local and other authorities across the country. It also was distributed to contacts in the private sector, such as oil, gas and financial services companies, said Wray.

The department is asking authorities to be rigorous about examining credentials and safeguarding badges, uniforms and other forms of official identification.