To develop & coordinate implementation of a comprehensive plan to protect Bristol County from terrorist threats or attacks.
Coordinate efforts to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from a terrorist attack.
Work closely with local, state, federal and private entities to accomplish these goals.


At the invitation of the Bureau of Justice, Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson traveled to Washington in 1998 to be briefed on the growing national concern regarding terrorist activities and weapons of mass destruction. Since then he has become a leader in homeland security issues and has brought together public safety officials from law enforcement, fire departments, National Guard, Coast Guard, the medical community and others to form the Bristol County Homeland Security Task Force, whose mission is to prepare the County Critical Incident First Responder Plan.

Sheriff Hodgson has also added a certified Explosive Detection Canine to the BCSO K-9 Division as a component of the Response Plan. The BCSO Incident Command Center contains sophisticated communication and other equipment, which is available to every community in the County. Incident Command Vehicle training for police, fire and public safety agencies is on-going.




CERT programs train civilians to assist law enforcement and first responders in the event of an emergency. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) created the program in 1994.

During a time of crisis, such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack, first responders may be spread too thin and might not be immediately available. In this instance, it could be very beneficial to have a person or a group of people already on hand who are trained to help until the police, fire, rescue, and emergency medical teams arrive. It may also be cost prohibitive for response agencies to staff for major disasters or large emergencies. One way that response agencies seek to solve resource shortages is through mutual aid agreements and other cooperative efforts. But in a disaster setting, mutual aid partners may be unable to provide support, or there may be damage to transportation routes, communication links, or other critical infrastructure that prevents a rapid response.

The purpose of cert is to educate people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area. It also trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Members who go through cert training will be able to give “critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors, or associates in their immediate area until help arrives.” they can provide useful information to responders and support their efforts.

Initially, CERT programs were developed to assist communities in taking care of themselves in the aftermath of a major disaster when first responders are overwhelmed or unable to respond because of communication or transportation difficulties. As cert has grown the teams have become much more. They can be an active and vital part of their communities’ preparedness and response capability.

The CERT teams will not replace fire and ems crews, but supplement them. This is a volunteer resource that is part of a community’s operational capability following a disaster.
Because CERT members are not professional first responders their safety must be the first priority. They must know their capabilities and the limitations of their training.

CERT members are considered “good Samaritans” and are covered under the volunteer protection act of 1997. During training members were informed of their responsibilities as volunteers. CERT training does not make a person an expert, and members should know their limitations.

Academic CERT applies the sound principles of emergency response to the neighborhood of the school environment. Schools represent large neighborhood clusters of students housed together five days a week that require disaster preparedness capabilities, response and recovery in the event a disaster occurred during the school day.

Students can also use CERT programs to fulfill local community service requirements. Students may take the next step and train to enter the professional fields of law enforcement, firefighter, and EMT.


ACU – 1000

This multi-agency interoperability communication has the ability to exchange information when and where needed. Information can be exchanged between fixed facilities, mobile platforms and portable (personal) devices.

It allows the connection of radios, telephones and cellular telephones in a seamless network. The system can deliver optimum high-performance results for emergency response agencies.

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Bristol County Sheriff's Office Address: 400 Faunce Corner Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747 Phone: 508.995.6400 Web: www.bcso-ma.us