Leon County Bomb Squad Accredited by FBI

The demand for trained bomb technicians is high. The Leon County Sheriff's Office's Hazardous Device Team just got the stamp of approval from the FBI.

A Leon County deputy stands guard as the Big Bend Regional Bomb Squad investigates a potentially explosive situation in Woodville. That call out last spring was one of more than 30 calls for the bomb squad last year, calls that have become more common since 9/11.

Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell says, "We had some, but nothing like the magnitude we're having today and there's no reason to think it's going to get less, we believe it will increase."

The Leon County Hazardous Device Team has just been accredited by the FBI, meaning it meets federal standards for training and equipment.

Deputy Tommy gore is one of team's newly certified members. He says, "It's a really harrowing experience.You've got on a 70 to 80 pound bomb suit. You're the only one there. No one's standing there telling you you're fixin' to do something wrong. You've got to be pretty confident in your training and your abilities."

The Sheriff's Office is counting on access to more federal money to buy a robot and more as it works alongside TPD, Capitol Police and the State Fire Marshal's Office responding to reports of bombs and suspicious packages in 13 counties.

LCSO is now the fourth law enforcement agency in Tallahassee to have an accredited bomb unit. They all work together as part of the domestic security task force and can be called to go anywhere in the state any time.