If someone were to detonate a bomb in central Ohio, it could take hours before a trained specialist arrives at the scene.
A new training program designed to lessen the response time is helping to get central Ohio investigators trained to collect crucial evidence in the event of a bomb.
City, state and federal law enforcement took part in a five-day course, which was put on by the Columbus Division of Fire bomb squad and was designed to help students learn what makes a bomb tick.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials understand that solving bombs takes teamwork.
“You have to be very detail oriented to do post-blast or arson investigation,” said Brandt Schenken, an ATF special agent in Columbus. “We can’t do that alone; we have to do that as part of a team,” Schenken said.
Schenken said that he encouraged first responders to take the class, in which many things explode – including vehicles.
Investigators get inside wreckage caused by bombs to determine how the explosive worked.
Post-bomb investigations begin with photographing the scene and marking the wreckage.
“A needle is a needle of haystacks without knowing what the needle looks like,” said Peter Wickham of the Franklin County Bomb Squad.
The goal of the training class is to teach those new to the world of explosives how find the bomb’s signature – what detonated, how it was triggered and what was used to build the bomb.
“I learned so much this week about what everybody else does and how evidence is treated and properly maintained and how to find it even,” Wickham said.
According to the ATF, 99 percent of all bombings in the United States are not terrorist related. Since 1978, the ATF has investigated more than 25,000 bombings and attempted bombings, Landers reported.
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