The Hazardous Devices Unit (HDU), also known as our Bomb Squad, is comprised of four officers who are nationally certified as Bomb Technicians. Each officer has received specialty training related to investigating suspicious packages, safely handling of known explosives and providing safety training to first responders. Additionally our Bomb Technicians are certified Hazmat Technicians and participate on the Specialized Emergency Response Program (SERP) regional team. HDU’s response area includes all of Whatcom County and the northern half of Skagit County.
Our team is called upon between 25 to 40 times per year to apply their expertise to known or possible threats. Bomb Technicians are responsible for the maintenance and operation of many sophisticated types of response and analysis equipment. They interface with our local, state and federal response partners frequently to assure the safety of our citizens and critical infrastructure.
Selection to this team is highly competitive and requires a significant commitment from those that are selected. It is common for a bomb tech to serve on this team for at least 10-15 years.
Initial training for this position begins with a 40 hour Hazmat Operator certification. This is followed by the 240 hour (6 week) Hazardous Devices School which is only offered at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. This course is provided by the FBI in collaboration with the US Army.
HDU officers carry on their role as a secondary duty. The “day jobs” of our current team members are Bicycle Officer, Traffic Officer, Evidence and ID Officer and a Crime Scene Investigator. The newest member of our team works in Special Investigations.
Our Bomb Technicians train locally for nearly 16 hours of every month to maintain proficiencies. Their national certification must be renewed every 3 years which requires a one week trip back to Alabama.