Columbus Bomb Squad: Boston Marathon Was Prime Target


UPDATED: Tuesday April 16, 2013 5:50 PM

Captain Steve Saltsman heads up one of the most elite bomb squads in the nation. 

He says even he was caught off guard by the bombings, despite the fact that he also said the Boston Marathon was a “prime target.”

"I was stunned when I first saw it,” Saltsman said.

Saltsman says events like the Boston Marathon are prime targets because they bring a lot of people, cameras and damage.

“It’s not a total surprise,” Saltsman said. “It’s a great opportunity for the bad guys.”

Saltsman calls the venue a soft target because the more than 200,000 spectators cannot be physically searched.  

The bomb squad says it's difficult to prevent an attack like the one in Boston, but not impossible.  

Saltsman says his team will immediately review the footage, especially the second blast that he believes was targeting first responders heading to the scene of the first explosion.

Even with all the high-tech crime fighting tools available to law enforcement and firefighters, they say their best chance at detecting explosives are explosive sniffing dogs.

The Ohio Highway Patrol teamed up with the Columbus Division of Fire at the statehouse for scheduled bomb detection training.  

Troopers planted an explosive scent underneath a trash can.  

10TV News observed three canines in a row search and succeed.  

Trainer Ken Beavers says the dogs are reliable.

"They're the best tool we have to date to detect explosives," he said.

Saltsman says as the city prepares for summer festivals and large gatherings, the bomb squad will focus on preventing a tragedy in Columbus, and responding as quickly and effectively as possible if the unthinkable happens here.

"We're always saying not if but when.  Where?  Is it going to be your business or somebody else?  It's going to continue to happen.  It's not going to change.”

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