"The precise actions we are taking and the precise locations at which we will enhance security is law-enforcement sensitive, will vary and shift from location to location, and will be continually re-evaluated," Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said today.
Yes, the Government has issued a security watch increase upon itself today. Why? Well, there are several reasons. First, you should know that the The Federal Protective Service is responsible for the protection of more than 9,500 federal facilities owned or leased by the General Services Administration, through which 1.4 million visitors and occupants pass daily. Now, the reasons cited by Mr. Johnson are due to the recent lone wolf attacks that are slightly related to ISIS, but can be contributed to mental health issues to. The exact affiliations seem to be more claims than official links at this point.
So, are you more at risk if you work in a Government building? Yes and no. Government employees are always more at risk for something tragic happening in the workplace because of where they work and who they work for. However, if a threat is detected, the employees are more protected because of the Department of Homeland Security taking notice of lone wolfs and actual terrorist-related threats.
My advice is to stay calm and ask questions. Know what the emergency evacuation plans are for your specific building and ask your HR Manager if you need to do anything, or be on the look out for anything, in relation to any obvious step-ups in security efforts at your workplace.
The move today is purely precautionary, but we should take notice.
Twyla N. Garrett