Charlotte, N.C. – (Wednesday, July 28, 2021) – During its weekly press conference this morning, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Departments Bomb Squad provided information on what to do when someone observes a suspicious package and the role that unit plays in those situations.
CMPD's Bomb Squad unit is composed of 13 certified technicians. These highly trained technicians are required to complete a Hazmat Materials Technician course, Homeland Security training, as well as a 6-week Hazardous Devices School in Huntsville, Alabama. The mission of the CMPD Bomb Squad is to preserve life, limit the destruction of property and restore operations to a normal state during high-risk situations involving the use or threatened use of explosives and other hazardous elements, including nuclear, chemical, and biological. The Bomb Squad responds to an average of 60 incidents per year but has recently seen that number rise as special events hosted by the City of Charlotte also increases. Whenever the Bomb Unit responds, they work hand-in-hand with the Charlotte Fire Department's Hazmat Response Team.
Sgt. Chad Strong with the Bomb Squad Unit encouraged the community that if you see an item you believe is suspicious but aren't sure, consider the surroundings. If you have concerns with an item, leave it where you found it. It is essential not to move the item to an open area or take it to another location. If you call 9-1-1 for assistance, a telecommunicator will ask very specific questions so take good mental notes of the size, shape, location, orientation, and anything else necessary.
The presence of improvised fireworks is also increasing. These explosives are illegal and very dangerous to handle, use, or transport. If you locate any suspicious items or explosives, please call 9-1-1 immediately for safe disposal. Remember, an observant community is the best partner in preventing the next crime. The press conference can be viewed in its entirety here.