Post Office terror plan

This item, culled from Village Manager Tom Barwin’s secret memos to trustees, is fascinating. Ever wonder what would happen if a dirty bomb went off or an airborne disease started spreading around the area? Answer: Postal workers would stop delivering letters and start delivering medicines.  But to protect the stash, they’d be assigned a local police officer. That’s where the local municipalities step in. But that’d be costly and overwhelming, Barwin writes. From the memo dated Jan. 25, 2008:


“To summarize, in case of a large scale disease outbreak or terrorist attack that would require the distribution of emergency medicine, the United States model is to have meds distributed to each home via postal carriers. Our emergency response leaders went to the roll out training for this last December and learned that this effort would require that all postal carriers be accompanied by an armed police officer or security guard….with 69 postal routes in town (which would be reconfigured to 34 for meds distribution) we would be required to assign 34 police officers (1/3 of our Police Department) to postal carriers as well as at least one officer to each post office to help protect the med supplies as the post offices will become meds warehouses. And remember; only a handful of our officers live here.”

Later in Barwin’s memo, he says Oak Park was making other plans.

“….so, while Cook County appears as if they are planning on using the US Postal System model, the communities of Oak Park, Evanston, Skokie and Stickney Township have decided to try to use a medical model or hybrid of it and develop their own distribution systems. This is a bold and courageous attempt but one that offers more flexibility and better service, with heavy but not complete reliance on police officers.”

All that was in preparation of a spring practice at Oak Park-River Forest High School, “with students acting the part of residents picking up medication for their families,” an Oak Leaves story said.


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