Bomb Squad Special Unit
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Bomb Squad is nationally recognized as a certified explosive disposal team with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This national standing allows the team to obtain equipment and training opportunities from the Federal Government at no cost to the City of Kalamazoo. Our certification continues to be a priority with the team. The Bomb Squad meets all the Federal standards as a certified Bomb Squad.
The Bomb Squad responded to 15 calls for service in 2009. These incidents ranged from hoax devices to explosive filled bombs. All incidents were managed with care to prevent injury to civilians and Bomb Squad members.
This year-end report will present information on the following topics:
Calls for service
CALLS FOR SERVICE:
As of December 31, 2009, the Bomb Squad responded to 15 calls to assist Local, State, and Federal agencies with bomb investigations, recovery of explosives, and improvised explosive devices.
The following is a list of the investigations the Bomb Squad conducted in 2009:
01-09-09: Responded to a local hospital reference two suspicious packages. A suspicious powder was located. The Bomb Squad assisted the Hazmat Team with testing the powder. It turned out not to be dangerous.
01-21-09 Responded to a local school in Kalamazoo reference a Malicious Destruction of property (MDP) and Bomb Threat. One subject was arrested for MDP and making a Bomb Threat.
02-10-09 Responded to the 4000 block of Taft in Kalamazoo Township reference two military rounds located in a garage. The items were taken, along with some small rounds of ammunition, and destroyed by the Bomb Squad.
03-04-09 A chemical bomb exploded in an apartment complex in Kalamazoo. The investigation was completed. There are no suspects at this time.
03-31-09 A suspicious powder was located at one of the local colleges. No explosives were located.
4-15-09 The bomb squad assisted a local super market with handling a bomb threat. No explosives were located.
6-9-09 Responded to a Portage school reference seven chemical bombs that had been brought to the school. Five of the seven exploded. The two remaining were rendered safe by the Bomb Squad.
07-07-09 Responded to 75 Mills. A suspicious package had been left behind by a suspected wanted felon. The package was determined safe by the Bomb Squad. Stolen property was located inside the backpack.
07-11-09 Responded to the 3000 block of Audubon. A family member of the deceased located a hand grenade in the closet. It turned out to be inert.
08-17-09 A citizen turned in a live 30mm round. It was destroyed safely by the Bomb Squad.
09-01-09 The Bomb Squad was requested to respond to the Hazardous Materials Building at 1301 Lamont reference someone turning in possible blasting caps. They turned out to be old railroad flares. They were destroyed safely by the squad.
09-11-09 Responded to 3700 W. Main reference a business finding an old blasting cap. This item was destroyed by the Bomb Squad.
09-19-09 Responded to an address on Winding Way regarding a possible bomb and/or bomb making items inside the house. The Bomb Squad and the Hazmat Team cleared the house. It was a grow operation.
10-02-09 The Bomb Squad responded to 100 W. Maple reference a Picric Acid call. The Kalamazoo County Hazardous Waste Disposal Company removed it. It did not appear to be crystallized or explosive.
12-21-09 Responded to 201 W. Kalamazoo reference a bomb threat. The Bomb Squad assisted with the search. No explosives were located. This bomb threat is still under investigation.
Summary of Calls:
1 Bombing/Attempts 5 Military and Civilian Ordinance
4 Suspicious or Hoax Devices 2 Explosive/Chemical Devices
Investigations 3 Bomb Threat
Assist to Other Jurisdictions:
3 Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department
1 Portage Police Department
1 Kalamazoo Township Police Department
Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list. This does not include calls for thousands of rounds of ammunition, fireworks, and pepper spray that the Bomb Squad collected and destroyed for our Department throughout the year.
During 2009, members of the Bomb Squad continued to train 16 hours per month. This time is essential to ensure each member receives the required amount of training and practice with the basic response equipment. This also represents the minimum amount of time recommended to maintain our certification with the government.
Bomb Squad members continue to train with Michigan State Police, ATF, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Battle Creek Bomb Squad, Berrien County Bomb Squad, Grand Rapids Bomb Squad and other squads and Federal agencies throughout the United States.
Squad member training routinely includes the following:
1. Joint training with Berrien County and Battle Creek Bomb Squads on the new Scan X-Ray.
2. Joint training with the SWAT team. The robot was utilized to help deploy equipment.SWAT/Bomb Squad explosive entry training.
Bomb Squad members were also accepted and attended the following training, primarily financed by the Federal Government and the IABTI:
1. April 24th-29th, Sgt. Marcelletti attended re-certification in Huntsville, Alabama with 24 other bomb technicians from the United States. Sgt. Marcelletti was selected as the team leader.
2. Det. Epkey, Lt. Hemingway and Sgt. Hendrick also attend re-certification in Huntsville, Alabama.
The Bomb Squad received a new Scan X-Ray system paid for by Homeland Security. $23,000.00
EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES:
The Bomb Squad continues to provide training and support to the community. We also continue to cooperate with Fort Custer and they provide assistance to us with our military ordinance destruction. Additionally, the Bomb Squad works in conjunction with the Hazmat Team to provide utmost safety to our community. Training was provided to agencies and organizations on bomb threats, awareness to explosive devices and incidents during the year. The following organizations received training:
· Public Safety Advanced Police Academy
· Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) Police Academy
· Assist Family & Children Service with their bomb threat policy/Tour of bomb squad
· Bomb Threat Update for the courthouse located at 150 E. Crosstown Parkway
· Hazmat Team joint training
The Kalamazoo Bomb Squad takes great pride in protecting our community. Team members are also concerned about the futures of our youth. Bomb team members participated in the following displays and youth programs:
· Big Brother Big Sisters
· Education For Employment training with approximately 40 students
· Regional display at KVCC
· Boys Youth Academy presentation at Fort Custer
· Baseball clinic at Mayor's Riverfront Stadium
· National Night Out
· Girls Youth Academy presentation at Fort Custer
· Holiday Parade
Bomb Squad members also assisted with security when Vice President Biden visited Kalamazoo.
Lastly, the Kalamazoo Bomb Squad was picked by the FBI to demonstrate different explosive shots using the newest technology and equipment to approximately 40 police executives within the State of Michigan.
With the service and training provided to the community in 2009, the Bomb Squad continues to be a vital asset to our Department and community.