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SBI displays bomb squad in Raleigh

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The bomb squad has six robots. Each named after a bomb technician as a way to remember them. The bomb squad has six robots. Each named after a bomb technician as a way to remember them.
Funding from the Department of Homeland Security helped purchase most of the equipment on display Tuesday. Funding from the Department of Homeland Security helped purchase most of the equipment on display Tuesday.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

The bombing of the Boston Marathon prompted the North Carolina State Bureau of  Investigation to put its bomb squad on display in downtown Raleigh Tuesday.

Attorney General Roy Cooper said the SBI received calls after the bombings about how the state could respond to a similar event. 

"It's important. It's unfortunate that we have to have this type of equipment, but we do," Cooper said. 

The bomb squad has six robots. Each named after a bomb technician as a way to remember them. 

The robots are spread out over the state to help local agencies or to fill gaps in communities that don't have a bomb squad. 

Funding from the Department of Homeland Security helped purchase most of the equipment on display Tuesday. 

"We hope and pray that it doesn't happen in North Carolina, but we owe it to the public to be ready in the event it does and to do everything we can to prevent it," Cooper said. 

The bomb squad consists of 12 technicians that train monthly. The squad responds to about 100 calls per year including working major events such as the U.S. Open in Pinehurst, NASCAR races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and last year's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.  

The Bomb Squad recently helped federal officials detonate more than 40 explosive devices located in Wilmington as part of an ongoing FBI investigation. A robot was recently damaged during a blast, which agents point to as a reason why it's important to have the robots instead of people in harm's way.

"We have some of the best people in the country who are here in North Carolina working with the State Bureau of Investigation who are on the ready," Cooper said. 

 

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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