History and Personnel
The Columbus Police Department Hazardous Devices Unit, or bomb squad, was formed with the approval of the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the spring of 2004. The unit currently has 1 certified bomb technician, and 2 explosive ordnance recognition trained officers. The unit also has a post blast trained investigator for crime scene analysis.
The trained certified bomb technician, William Skinner, graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Hazardous Devices School, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. This is currently the only approved training location for Law Enforcement bomb technicians.
The 2 explosive ordnance recognition trained officers, Mike Richardson and Alan Trisler, received training in the equipment and tactics in addition to graduating from the A.T.F. Post Blast Investigators School. These officers work hand in hand with the bomb technicians to successfully resolve issues that are encountered. Alan Trisler is also the crime scene investigator who handles all of the collection and preservation of explosive related evidence.
The Columbus Police Department Hazardous Devices Unit also works with corporate and private businesses to train them in the proper procedures for dealing with bomb threats and suspicious packages. Only procedures approved by the Hazardous Devices School are taught and employed.
The majority of the unit’s equipment was purchased through funds made available from the Division of Homeland Security specifically for accredited bomb squads. The unit currently has several items of equipment including a portable x-ray device and several tools employed in improvised explosive device mitigation.
Explosives, improvised explosive devices and military ordnance are all extremely dangerous. It is important to remember that these items can kill and seriously injure without notice. At no time should anyone, except a trained bomb technician, attempt to make, move, disturb or touch any item that appears to be suspicious in nature or readily appears to have an explosive content. If you come into contact with something like this contact the Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Center at (812) 379-1689.