Bomb Disposal Unit
The King County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) is a specialized unit that renders safe suspected or actual explosive devices, and safely disposes of deteriorated explosives, commercial explosives, homemade explosives, military ordnance, and improvised or illegal fireworks. The unit also supports SWAT, crisis negotiation, dignitary protection, and special event planning and coordination. The unit is trained and certified by the FBI at the Redstone Army Arsenal Hazardous Devices School in Huntsville, Alabama. The unit collaborates with other local bomb squads, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and local military EOD units in responding to and investigating explosives-related incidents.
The unit responds to over 250 calls every year and assists with the disposal of thousands of pounds of ammunition and fireworks annually. When a case involves explosive materials, the technicians safely collect and store the evidence, and review the case for violations of state or federal laws. When dignitaries visit the Metropolitan King County area, the technicians are on hand to evaluate and respond to any suspected hazardous situation. With the threat of foreign and domestic terrorism, BDU is prepared to address any hazards to maintain public safety and assist in the prosecution of any offenders.
Training and Equipment
The FBI trains the King County Sheriff’s Office bomb technicians. Each technician is recertified every three years at the Redstone Army Arsenal Hazardous Devices School in Huntsville, Alabama. At the training, they learn how to handle, use, and safely dispose of commercial explosives, pyrotechnic mixtures, improvised explosive devices, and various chemicals. Technicians are also trained and certified to handle hazardous materials and understand the complexities of nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks. The FBI and ATF provide training, technical support, and equipment to the unit.
The unit has a variety of equipment to perform its duties, such as bomb suits, robots, x-ray machines, disruptors, containment vessels, and explosives detection devices. The unit also has access to a bomb range where they can safely detonate and dispose of explosives. The unit operates two bomb response vehicles that are equipped with all the necessary tools and equipment to handle any situation.
The unit personnel train King County Sheriff’s Office Deputies on how to properly respond to explosive or hazardous calls. They also offer programs to teach other agencies how to recognize and react to a hazardous situation. The unit provides instruction on responding to bomb threats and searching for suspect devices for schools and other public agencies. The technicians also support other King County Sheriff’s Office units, such as the Tac-30 (SWAT) team and the Major Crimes Unit, with UAS support, breaching barricaded structures, recognizing booby traps, and x-ray diagnostics. In addition, they also manage the department-wide respiratory protection program.
Explosives Detection Canines
The King County Sheriff’s Office Explosive Detection Canine (EDC) Unit works in partnership with Metro Transit and Sound Transit organizations. These agencies work in conjunction with the Bomb Disposal Unit to provide explosive detection in the greater King County region.
Metro and Sound Transit have several certified Explosive Detection dogs in the region. The handler and dog teams are trained to detect explosives specifically on people and in buildings, vehicles, open areas, watercraft, aircraft, mass transit vehicles, and baggage. The teams are trained to find and discriminate more than 20,000 possible chemical combinations that could be part of explosive compounds. They can be used to find explosives, firearms, ammunition, or spent casings and have been found invaluable in searching area schools for possible firearms.
If you have any questions or concerns about the unit, or if you need to report a suspicious or hazardous situation, please contact the unit at:
King County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Disposal Unit
516 3rd Ave, Room W-116
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 296-3311
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need our assistance. We are here to serve and protect the public.