Local Protocol for Bomb Threats

March 19, 2018 10:41 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- We’re taking a closer look locally at how officers are trained to deal with a threat in case of a bomb. 

Rochester Police Officer Brian Roussell says training is necessary with how things are going nowadays "the way the world's going explosions are the way of harming people."


He’s talking about the recent "package" explosions in Austin, Texas. The most recent one was triggered Sunday night.

Sgt. Jon Turk says the city and department have a plan should something like that happens here. 

"Getting to an area, kind of doing an initial assessment, reporting that up through a supervisory chain. From there we determine and reach out to our two K-9 explosive dogs that the police department has,” said Turk.

So far this year, those K-9 units have responded to two bomb threats.

"Without these dogs, we would have to rely on another agency to come down to assist us and that'd be, you know timing is everything when you're dealing with an explosive device,” said Roussell.

According to the United States Police K-9 Association, the dogs have to go through a minimum of 16 hours of training per month.

Rochester doesn't have its own bomb squad, so if the K-9s find a bomb threat credible, other agencies from the cities are called in.  

"Get out their equipment. They get their robots out and they can go up and assess things in a much safer way for officers, first responders and the community overall because they have the expertise to help us evaluate it,” said Turk.

And even if it is a false claim, the department's top priority is to prevent situations like the one in Austin, Texas from taking place here.

"We're constantly training. This isn't something that we take lightly,” said Roussell.  

Police say people should always follow Homeland Security's recommendation, where if you "see something, say something."

It also says don't ever approach any suspicious object.


Roxanne Elias

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