Spokane Regional Explosive Disposal Unit Receives U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation Accreditation
Last month, the Spokane Regional Explosive Disposal Unit was notified they met the requirements for equipment and training required by the National Bomb Squad Commanders Advisory Board. Achieving these high standards certifies them as an Accredited Bomb Squad by the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigations.
The Spokane Regional Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) is comprised of members from the Spokane Police Department, Spokane Valley Police Department, and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
Their mission is to provide a highly trained and equipped unit of FBI-certified hazardous device technicians that can rapidly respond to incidents that include suspicious packages, suspected improvised explosive devices, found explosives, and components. Additionally, they provide event security and training for regional agencies and the public on explosives and hazardous incidents. EDU also has a robust robotic unmanned vehicle program, equipped with highly specialized tools and capabilities used to support tactical units such as Spokane County Sheriff’s Office’s and Spokane Police Department’s SWAT teams.
EDU has been certified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation routinely since the 1990s, with this new certification expiring in 2025. Next year will be an important milestone in EDU’s history as it marks the unit’s 50th anniversary serving the communities of Eastern Washington and the North Idaho Panhandle.
Some of their specialized equipment consists of seven (7) robots used to safely inspect, move, and disable IEDs and explosives. They also respond to tactical environments to provide reconnaissance and as a two-way communication device for SWAT and Crisis Negotiators to communicate with a barricaded subject or person in crisis. Additional equipment carried by the team includes: torches, saws, detectors for radiological and nuclear isotopes, x-ray systems, water and projectile disruptors to disable IEDs, a large bomb-resistant metal sphere, known as the Total Containment Vessel, used to transport located hazardous items to a safe disposal area, and bomb suits to protect from overpressure and fragmentation that weigh over 80 pounds each.
Reflecting on the growth and evolution of the Explosive Disposal Unit, Undersheriff Kittilstved said, “Having been a member of this team since 2001 when I was a Deputy and new bomb technician, I’ve seen a tremendous change.
We've grown from one truck, a single robot, and the “vessel” to four response vehicles, seven robots, and highly technical equipment. All the current and former techs played a key part in the team moving forward. We’re known as one of the busiest squads in the Northwest, EDUs reputation is highlighted by their responses to several major incidents over the years, such as the MLK bomb attack attempt. However, the most important part of the unit is its members, an incredibly professional and dedicated group of techs that are experts in their tradecraft.”
Sheriff Knezovich added, “Thank you to all the members, past and present, of the Spokane Regional Explosive Disposal Unit for your hard work, professionalism, dedication, and expertise. You have and continue to provide a high level of service while performing an extremely dangerous task to keep all of us safe.”