FBI partnership helps prepared for worst-case scenario

As we go along with our daily lives there are people working behind the scenes preparing for the worst-case scenario.

Thursday in Greenville, members of an organization called Infragard gathered to share concerns and strategy.

The public servants and private citizens, most of whom who work in our nation’s 16 critical infrastructure sectors, have teamed up with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, volunteering their share their knowledge and expertise.

“The FBI is not the keeper of all knowledge, and we rely heavily on people outside of our building. We need to go out and talk to individuals, corporations, who have knowledge that is critical for us to do our work in keeping America safe,” said Don Wood, a Supervisor Special Agent with the FBI.

The volunteers are looking to protect major infrastructure, we can’t do without like water, agriculture, transportation and power.

“It’s like a force multiplier. It’s just extra eyes and ears, and also extra knowledge, it’s sharing of information,” said Gary Elliot, the current Infragard President.

Hank Cooper, who worked in the Reagan Administration as a Chief Negotiator, was among the speakers.

Cooper warned about the need to protect our electric grid, and prepare for an attack by an adversary like North Korea.

“This is a serious threat. Washington is unprepared to deal with it. We have to deal with it from the bottom up,” said Cooper.

In fact, right now, Cooper is spear-heading a pilot study in York County to figure out how people would get their electricity if the grid were wiped out by an electromagnetic pulse from a blast above our atmosphere.

The opiod epidemic was also featured at the conference because of the way the Greenville Sheriff’s Office has teamed up with the FBI on a prevention program called VOICE.

“Now we have this wonderful partnership with the FBI that we’re going to continue,” said Martine Wilder at the Sheriff’s office.