Nampa Bomb Squad talks about keeping major events safe

Credit: Mike di Donato/KTVB

Nitro is a bomb sniffing dog that works for the Nampa Police Department.

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by Scott Evans

Bio | Email | Follow: @ScottEvansKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on April 16, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 9:59 AM

NAMPA – With there being a real concern about safety at public events not only in Boston, but across the nation, police have tightened security in the aftermath of Boston bombings. They're monitoring landmarks, government buildings, transit hubs and sporting events.

KTVB spoke to the Nampa Bomb Squad Tuesday about what it does before major events to make sure we're all safe.

When it comes to major events, Nitro the bomb dog is the first line of defense. He's been trained on 14 different odors.

"Anything from C-4 down to black powder ammunition type stuff," said Brad Workman with the Nampa Bomb Squad.

At the request of an event organizer, Nitro and his handler, Officer Brad Workman are called to do pre-sweeps.

"We run through, make sure that no major items have been planted ahead of time," said Workman.

If Nitro finds something, he's trained to sit. What happened Monday in Boston is just the latest example of terror that makes us ask local law enforcement what it's doing to keep all of us safe.

"Every time we get called out we treat it as if it’s the real deal and could be a potentially major event," said Workman.

Since officers can't be everywhere, they rely on us, the public, to be alert.

"There are only so many bomb technicians out there that can do, physically do the sweep, so they rely on other people that are part of the event,” said Det. Dallas Weaver with the Nampa Bomb Squad. “Event organizers, security, everybody needs to be watching.”

When something is found, they have high-tech tools to keep officers away from harm.

"There's inherent danger in doing this job, being a bomb tech," said Weaver.

When officers need to get close to a device they have 80-pound suits that can protect them to a certain degree. But the best tool they have is this bomb robot, allowing them to keep a safe distance.

Weaver showed us how they use the robot when approaching a suspicious device. It has several cameras mounted all over to give the officer controlling it, options to view the suspicious package. It can even be fitted with an X-ray to allow them to look inside.

Millions of dollars invested to make sure dangerous materials are handled properly.

But again, these tools are only as good as the public being able to alert police of something suspicious.

The Nampa Bomb Squad goes around educating people that if something looks out of place or suspicious, don't touch it. If there are wires or smoke coming out of it, clear the area, get a good description and call police immediately.

The Nampa Bomb Squad serves six counties, Canyon, Owyhee, Washington, Adams, Payette and Malheur County in Oregon.

The most recent time the Nampa Bomb Squad was called out was Sunday night in Eastern Oregon, after two men are accused of setting off several homemade bombs in a remote area.

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