These days, it is very easy for someone to access the information and materials needed to create an explosive device at home. That is why the Bristol County K9 Team sent officers for specific training in homemade explosives.

According to a press release, Bristol County K9 Lt. Kenneth Almeida and K9 Officer Ryan Isherwood, who are both trained and certified in firearms and explosives detection, took another step to protect the public from these homemade explosives with a unique training at Tripwire Operations in Gettysburg, PA recently.

“Anybody with the internet can find out how to make a bomb,” Lt. Almeida said. “We’re so much more likely to encounter a homemade explosive than a commercial or military explosive, that’s why this training was so important.”

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The training course was an all-day affair, starting with building explosives devices in the morning. In the afternoon, the K9s were trained to detect the scents used to make those explosives, and then there was a controlled detonation at night.

“Every single explosive we built and detected can be made in 15 minutes with simple items ordered online or bought at a hardware store,” Officer Isherwood said. “Building and detecting it brings a whole new level of respect to the job and how crucial it is to protect the people from these.”

According to the press release, Officer Isherwood experienced the impact of a homemade device while serving overseas with the U.S. Marines years ago. His vehicle was taken out while driving over a homemade mine.

“I’ve seen what these bombs can do first-hand,” Officer Isherwood said. “They can do a lot of damage. That’s the last thing anyone in law enforcement wants happening in our community.”

The opportunity was a learning experience like no other. Lt. Almeida said building the explosives during training gives them more information about the chemicals used to make them.

“This will be a tremendous benefit to the people of Bristol County,” said Lt. Almeida, who is hoping to organize a training session for K9 teams from across Bristol County on homemade explosives. “These chemicals can be very unstable and an explosion can occur at any time with these homemade explosives. No doubt we will use the knowledge to prevent these in Bristol County.”

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