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Lodi bomb squad goes through rigorous training

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Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2008 10:00 pm

The history of bomb squads in the U.S. dates back to World War II in the early 1940s. Early bomb squads had the responsibility of disarming unexploded military ordnance on the battlefields. In 1992, the Lodi Police Department developed the Bomb/Arson Unit to handle explosive devices and suspicious items.

The Bomb Unit deals with live explosives such as dynamite, modified hand grenades and improvised pipe bombs. They also investigate and handle suspicious devices and packages.

Members of the Lodi Police Bomb Unit attend school in Huntsville, Ala. on the U.S. Army base Redstone Arsenal. This joint Army-FBI training facility is called the Hazardous Devices School (HDS) and lasts six weeks. The training must be successfully completed before the student may graduate and earn the title of Bomb Technician.

The Basic HDS course includes: robotics; booby traps; commercial, improvised and military explosives; x-ray use and interpretation; electronics; chemical and biological weapons; hazardous materials; and personal protective equipment. This training is intense, and a passing grade is required on all subjects. If a student fails to meet standards, they are sent home. Bomb technicians are required to attend recertification classes in Alabama every three years to maintain their accreditation.

The Lodi PD Bomb Unit is also associated with the San Joaquin Metro Bomb Squad. The Metro Squad consists of officers from Lodi PD, the San Joaquin Sheriff's Dept., Stockton PD and Manteca PD. All participating bomb technicians have attended the same HDS training and work together on emergency calls involving explosive ordinances.

After each bomb technician has completed the Basic HDS, they are allowed to wear a unique badge known as the EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) "crab." This qualification badge has been adapted by civilian bomb squads from their military counterparts. Each part of the "crab" has a significant meaning:

  • The wreath is symbolic of the achievements and laurels gained in minimizing incidents through the ingenuity and devotion to duty of its members. It is in memory of those EOD members who gave their lives while performing EOD duties.
  • The bomb is copied from the design of the WWII Bomb Disposal badge, and represents the historic and major objective of the EOD mission: the unexploded bomb. The three fins represent the major areas of nuclear, conventional and chemical/biological interest.
  • Lightning bolts symbolize the potential destructive power of the bomb and the courage and professionalism of EOD personnel.
  • The shield represents the EOD mission - to prevent a detonation and protect the surrounding area and property.

Bomb squad members are also part of the Fire Investigation Unit. Along with trained members of the Lodi Fire Dept., the bomb technicians jointly investigate fires with major property damage or when a death is involved. This cooperative venture has been very successful in the investigation and prosecution of several subjects responsible for setting fires within the city of Lodi.

There are several mottos associated with EOD units, but the original motto still has the most meaning: "Initial success or total failure." The EOD team t-shirts we wear have another saying: "If you see me running, try to keep up."

Sergeant Dale Miller has been a member of the Lodi EOD Team since 1992.

Questions, comments or advice for Behind the Badge can be e-mailed to jbiskup@pd.lodi.gov, mailed to Jeanie Biskup, Lodi Police Department, 215 West Elm Street, Lodi, CA 95240, phone 333-6864.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 4:15 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    It seems Lodi has a really BIG problem.
    Should we go stalk up on shells and dig a bunker?
    How about just plain WORK EXPERENCE for them. Is that possible?

    Watch for "blogger hater name caller guy" He's gonna post in a minute here.

  • posted at 4:47 pm on Wed, Mar 19, 2008.


    max stanfield: You are correct on many levels! Wish Chief Main would read this! But WE DO NEED EOD! We also need SWAT, although the Jacob Albert Torrez proved them to be lousy shots and cost us millions.

    I support LPD 100%! I just wish they could shoot better. Hopefully their bomb disposal has a higher rate of doing a proficient job!

  • posted at 2:59 pm on Wed, Mar 19, 2008.


    My friend Todd said good luck getting the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department to show up for anything.

  • posted at 6:02 pm on Tue, Mar 18, 2008.


    Leonard, I'm sure the S.J. Sheriffs dept. has a bomb expert who could be here in similar time. And they could also mobilize a S.W.A.T. team quickly. This is nothing more than a continuing inefficient use of public funds. Keep grabbing those ankles.

  • posted at 5:17 am on Tue, Mar 18, 2008.


    Max: When you have a bomb somewhere, it is a little late to head out to Alabama for six weeks of training.

  • posted at 4:05 pm on Mon, Mar 17, 2008.


    Good program, good training, best to get ready. but, How many bombs has lodi had in the last 20 years ?? Shouldnt the focus of the police department be on real problems? LIKE GANGSTERS, PREVERTS, LOOSERS, BOTTOM FEEDERS, GARBAGE PEOPLE, SCUM, ROBBERS, ASSAULTERS, BURGLERS, THEFT'ERS, RAPISTS, AND A BAG LIST OF SCUM. yOU NAME IT, WE HAVE THEM. Why worry about a bomb that never showed up, never went off ???? GAWD THIS IS AN EASY CALL.


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