Hazardous Devices Unit
In 2000, the Twin Falls Police Department's Hazardous Devices Unit (HDU) was nationally accredited as a Bomb Squad from the Federal Bureau of Investigation upon meeting the requirements set forth by the National Bomb Squad Commander's Advisory Board. The Twin Falls Police Department's Bomb Squad is one of four accredited bomb squads in the State of Idaho. Sergeant Ryan Howe leads the TFPD Hazardous Devices Unit.
Each Bomb Squad Member must become certified as a Bomb Technician by the FBI's Hazardous Devices School. This certification follows the successful completion of a rigorous six-week school held at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, the only facility in the country that trains and certifies the nation's public safety bomb technicians. In order to maintain their certification, each Member must complete monthly training, annual reviews, and complete the FBI Hazardous Devices recertification course every three years. Bomb Squad Members must also obtain certification as Hazardous Material Technicians.
The Bomb Squad handles an average of 35 to 40 calls per year. The mission of the Hazardous Device Unit is to investigate explosive related matters including: bomb threats, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), incendiary devices (IIDs), hoax devices, illegal use of explosives, misuse of explosives, and found military, consumer, or commercial explosives and pyrotechnics. The unit is also tasked with preventing the criminal or misuse of explosives and other dangerous substances. The Bomb Squad will also assist the SWAT team to utilize specialized equipment including robots and Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
The Bomb Squad is also tasked with the front-line response to any terrorist activity that might take place within the City of Twin Falls or surrounding communities. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security has placed this responsibility with the Squad and, to accomplish this task, has equipped the Squad with additional complex equipment, including the ability to interact with specialized experts in Washington, D.C. from any scene at any time.
The HDU's equipment includes explosives, x-ray systems, bomb suits, radiation monitors, gas monitors, rigging equipment, disruption tools, Unmanned Aircraft Systems and a Hazardous Duty Robot. Bomb Squad Members are trained in the use and application of this equipment. The Bomb Squad also provides community service displays and presentations.