112th Precinct Community Council

How to handle a suspicious letter or package:

May 23, 2004

The following information is taken from the NYPD web site

How to handle a suspicious letter or package:
There have been several cases around the country of anthrax tainted letters. Most were empty envelopes; some have contained powdery substances. We would like to recommend a course of action if this occurs to you.
What does a suspicious letter or package look like?
Protruding wires.
No return address
Addressed to title only or incorrect title
Lopsided or uneven address information
Misspellings of common words in your name or address
Badly typed or written
Strange odor
Excessive tape or string
Oily stains
Rigid or bulky
What should you do if you receive suspicious mail?
Do not shake or empty the contents of any suspicious envelope or package.
Do not smell or taste the contents.
Cover the envelope or package with anything (e.g. paper, trash can, etc.) and DO NOT REMOVE this cover.
Then leave the room and close the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering.
Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
Turn off fans or ventilation units in the area.
If you are at home, call the police by DIALING 911 .
If you are at work, call the police by DIALING 911 and notify your building security.
List all of the people who were in the area when the letter or package arrived and give this information to the police.
NOTE: The United States Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are offering a $2,500,000 dollar reward leading to the arrest and conviction of persons using Anthrax in their terrorist behavior. Confidential telephone calls can be directed to America's Most Wanted phone bank at (800) CRIME-TV(274-6388).
For questions and answers about Anthrax, go to the New York City Department of Health pages on the Official NYC.gov website.

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