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Bomb Squad FAQs


          What should a resident do after receiving a telephonic bomb threat?
         
What should a resident do if they find a suspicious item that might be a "bomb"?
         
When does the Bomb Squad respond to a call?
         
How many officers make up the Bomb Squad?
         
How many calls per year does the Bomb Squad handle?
         
When was the Bomb Squad created?
         
How many explosive detection K-9’s does the Bomb Squad have?
         
What should I do if I receive a suspicious package in the mail?
         
What should I do if I receive a possible bomb through the mail?
         
What should I do if I receive a bomb threat over the telephone?
         
What should I say to a caller if he/she warns of a bomb at my location?
         
What should I do if I find a possible bomb or explosive device?
         
Are fireworks considered explosive devices?

What should a resident do after receiving a telephonic bomb threat?
The resident should call 911 and request the police. Patrol officers will respond and give advice regarding bomb threat procedures and options as well completing a "Bomb Threat" report.

What should a resident do if he or she finds a suspicious item that might be a "bomb"?
Residents should not move or touch the suspected item but should immediately call 911 and report it to the police.

When does the Bomb Squad respond to a call?
The Bomb Squad is notified and responds whenever a suspected explosive device is found.

How many officers make up the Bomb Squad?

The Bomb Squad has 28 full-time officers and 3 K-9 handlers.

How many calls per year does the Bomb Squad handle?
The Bomb Squad respond to approximately 500 bomb-related calls for service per year.  Approximately 22 percent involved live devices that had to be rendered safe, live devices that have already functioned, live military ordnance, or other illegal explosive devices.

When was the Bomb Squad created?
The Bomb Squad was formed in 1950.

How many explosive detection K-9's does the Bomb Squad have?
The Bomb Squad has three bomb dogs.

What should I do if I receive a suspicious package in the mail?
Explosive devices can be contained in almost anything. Bombs can be constructed to look like almost any item and can be delivered in any number of ways.  Most bombs are homemade and are limited in their design only by the imagination of their maker.  Letter and package bombs are not new.  While many incidents have involved political terrorism, such bombs are made for a wide variety of motives. Letter and/or package bombs varies in size, shape, and components. They have electric, non-electric, or other sophisticated firing systems.

There are different indicators to look for that could be indicative of a possible explosive device:

•    Foreign mail, airmail and special delivery;
•    Restrictive markings such as confidential, personal, etc.;
•    Excessive postage;
•    Hand-written or poorly typed addresses;
•    Incorrect titles;
•    Titles but no names;
•    Misspellings of common words;
•    Oily stains or discoloration;
•    No return address;
•    Excessive weight;
•    Rigid envelope;
•    Lopsided or uneven envelope;
•    Protruding wires or tinfoil;
•    Excessive securing material such as masking tape, string, etc.; and
•    Visual distractions

What should I do if I receive a possible bomb through the mail?
Bombs can be detonated by a variety of methods including the slightest touch. Therefore, if any suspicious object is located, THE DEVICE SHOULD NOT BE TOUCHED OR DISTURBED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Immediately evacuate the location and notify the police from a neighbor's house or a business. Only conventional telephones should be used as cellular telephone transmissions have the potential to detonate a bomb.

What should I do if I receive a bomb threat over the telephone?
Bomb threats represent a serious and deadly situation that can quickly turn tragic. The destructive potential of even a small device must be seriously considered. Any citizen that receives a bomb threat over the phone should immediately evacuate the location and notify the police from a neighbor's house or a business. Only conventional telephones should be used, because cellular telephone transmissions have the potential to detonate a bomb.

What should I say to a caller if he/she warns of a bomb at my location?
When a bomb threat is called in to you, attempt to keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Ask him/her to repeat the message and be sure to record every word spoken.  If the caller does not indicate the location of the bomb or the time of possible detonation, you should ask him/her for this information.  It is a good idea to inform the caller that the building is occupied, and the detonation of a bomb could result in death or serious injury to innocent people.  As you attempt to keep the caller on the line, listen for any particular background noises such as motors running, background music, and any other noise which may give a clue as to the location of the caller.  As you are gathering information about the caller, write down as much information as possible (Click here to download a bomb threat checklist).  When the police arrive at your location, be prepared to give an accurate description of the caller's voice.  As the caller speaks, listen closely to
the voice quality for any regional accents and/or speech impediments the caller might possess.

What should I do if I find a possible bomb or explosive device?
If any suspicious object is located, THE DEVICE SHOULD NOT BE TOUCHED OR DISTURBED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.  Immediately evacuate the location and notify the police from a neighbor's house or a business.  Only conventional telephones should be used, as cellular telephone transmissions have the potential to detonate a bomb.

Are fireworks considered explosive devices?
Fireworks are considered explosive devices, and they are extremely dangerous.  Every year, numerous children and adults are injured or burned as a result of “playing” with fireworks.  Fireworks are dangerous and illegal within the city limits of Los Angeles.

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