As concerns continue to grow about the use of improvised explosive devices after high profile incidents such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Okla., the Twin Falls Police Department Bomb Squad is working proactively to help community partners identify and safely respond to the threat of improvised explosive devices.
On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the Twin Falls Police Department hosted an awareness and familiarization course for several community partners such as the Twin Falls School District, Magic Valley Regional Airport, and chemical suppliers, as well as law enforcement agencies in South Central Idaho. The course provided an in-depth lecture on emerging threats using common – and not so common – materials to manufacture improvised explosive devices, and a demonstration at Hub Butte to show participants how to recognize improvised explosive devices, how they operate, and how to determine the type of explosive based on the blast.
“As police officers, we cannot be everywhere all the time, so we encourage the training and education of our community partners to help give us extra eyes and ears around the community,” said Sgt. Ryan Howe, Twin Falls Police Department Bomb Squad. “When they are better informed, they are better able to alert us to suspicious devices, purchases or behaviors that may precede a malicious incident.”
Explosive Specialists with the Federal Bureau of Investigation led the lecture and demonstrations with the help from members of the Twin Falls Police Department Bomb Squad and the Twin Falls Fire Department. The demonstrations included the detonation of several different types of explosives, which taught participants to better identify explosive devices by traits such as the color of the smoke, the force and dispersion of the explosion – valuable information that can help prevent further harm to citizens and help investigators apprehend suspects before they strike again.
The Twin Falls Police Department is one of two departments in Idaho – the second being in Idaho Falls – to offer the program that familiarizes key people with current and emerging threats with explosive devices. The six members of the Twin Falls Police Department Bomb Squad serve other departments in South Central Idaho.
To watch a video of the course, as well as interviews with participants and members of the bomb squad, please go to www.tfid.org or visit the City of Twin Falls on Facebook and Twitter.