Federal Grants Aid NY State's Accredited Bomb Squads

"It takes a great deal of training and resources to have an operational bomb squad ready to answer the call of duty. This funding will help provide the state's certified bomb squads with the tools they need to help properly detect, identify, and safely dispose of explosive devices," State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino, Sr. said.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo this week announced $2 million in federal Homeland Security Grant Program funding has been secured and will alllow the state's 12 local FBI-accredited bomb squads to sustain and enhance their capabilities to detect, interdict, and respond to improvised explosive devices. He said this is the 12th consecutive year that New York has provided dedicated federal homeland security funding to local bomb squads, with over $19.6 million awarded during that period.

"This funding is critical in providing our law enforcement with the equipment and training they need to keep New Yorkers safe," Cuomo said. "These brave men and women put their lives on the line to protect the communities they serve, and these resource will help ensure they continue to have the tools they need to get the job done."

As a condition of the grant requirement, accredited bomb squads will test their skills and preparedness by participating in the annual "Excelsior Challenge" at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany in October 2018. Last year, more than 100 bomb technicians, explosive detection dog handlers, and tactical team officers from across New York State attended the three-and-a-half-day training, participating in scenario-based activities centered on current threats and past attacks from around the world, including Barcelona, London, Nice, Orlando, Paris, and St. Petersburg. The State Preparedness Training Center has also been the host of a national bomb squad exercise conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Justice in 2015 and 2016, and it was was chosen to host this exercise again in April 2019.

State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino, Sr. said, "It takes a great deal of training and resources to have an operational bomb squad ready to answer the call of duty. This funding will help provide the state's certified bomb squads with the tools they need to help properly detect, identify, and safely dispose of explosive devices."

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  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

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