#ThrowbackThursday 1970: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Arson Explosives Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Arson Squad was established in 1923. The mission of the unit was to investigate all fires, whether they were accidental or criminally set. With the increasing demand of explosive-related incident investigations, #LASD founded its Arson Explosives Detail (AED) in 1961. AED provides Los Angeles County with fire investigations as well as emergency response to possible explosive devices.
AED is comprised of 22 full-time Certified Bomb Technicians and Arson investigators and 11 explosive detection canines.
AED receives hundreds of fire and suspicious device calls every year. There has been increased number of calls for service to investigate suspicious packages, but only a small percentage of the calls were confirmed as live devices that had to be rendered safe. When it comes to suspicious packages, AED investigators treat each call as if it were a real device. They follow each protocol that they learned in training, knowing that any shortcuts with a real device could mean a deadly outcome.
Today, AED investigators are equipped with some of the world’s leading technology for bomb technicians. One of the main tools the bomb technicians utilize is their robots. The robots allow the operator to gather information about the suspicious device remotely, thus keeping them safe.
In situations where the robots are unable to access the suspicious device, AED investigators will then don the bomb suit and access the device manually. The bomb suit and helmet are designed to provide the highest degree of modular protection and operational flexibility for the bomb technician.
LASD AED respond to calls 24/7. If you see something, say something. Call 911 or contact your local law enforcement agency to report it.
Photos provided by @LASDMuseum