The Butte County Inter-Agency Bomb Squad currently has four agencies contributing personnel: Butte County Sheriff’s Office, Chico Police Department, Gridley Police Department and the Oroville Police Department. There are currently five certified Bomb Technicians assigned to the team. All certified Bomb Technicians have to pass a 6-week certification course through the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in Huntsville, AL, and are required to recertify through the same school every three years.
The Bomb Squad has a response area that includes Butte County and the surrounding counties, which is approximately 12,000 square miles. The Bomb Squad responds to approximately 50-70 calls per year on average. The Bomb Squad is responsible for any of the explosives related incidents within their response area. The calls can range from suspicious packages, rendering safe actual or suspected Improvised Explosive Device (IED), homemade explosives, commercial explosives and illegal pyrotechnics and more.
A Bomb Technician has a variety of trainings through numerous areas, some included are; explosives and explosive theory, post blast investigation, homemade explosives and precursor chemicals, hazardous materials (HAZ-MAT), electronics, x-ray and robotics. There is continuous training required throughout the year as part of the requirement to maintain the squad’s accreditation through the FBI.