EUREKA- Humboldt County has the only accredited FBI bomb squad in the tri-county area that includes surrounding Mendocino, Del Notre, and Trinity Counties. They are assigned to defuse explosive devices, but in order to disarm those explosives; they rely on necessary equipment to help them complete their job. A recently purchased x-ray machine is latest version of technology that the squad has acquired, which allows them to photograph potentially explosive devices in an instant.
"It is important to us to have that type of equipment,” said Humboldt County Sergeant Ernie Stewart, “because when we go out on scene and there is a closed package, you cant see what is inside of it. Now we have the ability now to go up to it, x-ray it, see what is inside the package without having to touch or hand-enter the package,” he said.
Before the new machine the squad would enter a package or suspicious device remotely, using a robot, but now they are able to take a simple snapshot of and peer inside,
"This way if it is just clothes or something of a non-hazardous nature inside the package then we are not unnecessarily destroying someone’s personal property," said Stewart.
Bomb squad commander Bryan Maus said it takes clear images of just about anything, wood, plastic, cloth, even the human body, and can also snap photos of any type of vehicle.
"We should be able to get through cars, car doors, including something in the seat, so it is pretty powerful, or it can be," he said.
The images captured are of better quality said Stewart, “It gives you a better crisper, clearer image with fine detail.”
The machine cost a little over $26,000 but the squad was given that money through a federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security.