Schooling from the boys down at the Bum Squad
(First appeared in August 2005)
122 degrees is what my truck’s thermostat registered this afternoon when I got done with training. As you can guess, I’m a just a tad tired and not in much of a mood for writing. However, I will give you a few gems from my day, one of them a funny quote from an instructor.
I’m Officer Ray Smith from the Bomb Unit and I will be your instructor for this block. Our motto in the unit is “we may not be the best, but hey, who else are you going to call?” I have just a little over twenty-two years on the department, minus a little penalty box time, if you know what I mean.
He was a little jaded from his past dealings with management, but still an informative instructor who knew his stuff. And I would think that anyone who volunteers to screw around with unexploded explosive devices made by nut-jobs ought to be at least a half bubble off level to start with.
He brought lots of cool stuff to play with and a few interesting facts. Like the amount of explosive used in the United States each year; 8 Billion (yes, with a “B”) pounds. As you might imagine, a lot of explosives get “lost” and wind up in the wrong hands.
There are many explosives that are impractical in Some City because of our hot and humid climate. One cool little toy is an explosive that has the consistency of caulk, it even comes in a tube like caulk and can be used in a caulk gun. Unfortunately it melts almost instantly. The idea was that it would be great to quickly apply around door locks for forced breaches, but in the amount of time it took to apply it to the door, stick a detonator on it and haul ass around the corner; it had already lost consistency and run in long streaks down the doors face. It’s a shame; it was cool stuff and only cost a $100 a tube.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police has recently endorsed a “shoot to kill” model policy for dealing with suicide/homicide bombers. Of course Some City, being the liberally governed city it is, will only adopt such a policy after we have our first human bomb take out a dozen innocent victims. The instructor had just had a meeting that morning with a counterpart from the London Metropolitan Police and we discussed their policy on shooting suspected bombers.
Also, we learned all about the three-man team tactic that the Israelis use on suspected bombers. That was very impressive. It takes a cool head (especially for the main guy who has two very critical tasks to perform if there is actually a bomb) and a lot of coordination between the team members. We won’t go into details (no sense in giving out the info just in case some bad guys doesn’t already know about it), but I was convinced of its effectiveness.
We saw tons of gory footage of people blowing up, like the Pizza Box Bomber, and since everybody there was a cop we got to see it three or four times, in slow motion even. A ton of photos showing blown up idiots and bombers (is that redundant) who screwed up with explosives. Like the guy in West Virginia who stuck a blasting cap in his mouth. In the photo we saw, he was still alive, but the effect was beyond phenomenally traumatic. The only thing recognizable was one eyeball.
There’s a lesson for you kids – don’t play with stuff that blows up.