The Kern County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad was established in 1975. The team originally consisted of two members and virtually no specialized equipment. Investigator Gordon Day attended the Hazardous Devices School (HDS) at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama in 1975, and Sgt. Glen Johnson attended in 1977.
For many years, the two responded to hundreds of calls with only a basic toolbox and their knowledge of explosives. Render-safe procedures of suspected bombs consisted mostly of “hand-entry” techniques. The squad eventually improvised their own water cannon using a piece of lead pipe, a modified shotgun shell, and plumber’s putty. As with today’s advanced disrupters, they used the cannon to blast open suspicious packages.
The squad doubled in size in the mid 1990’s and from a government grant purchased their first x-ray machine and bomb suit. In 2000 the squad purchased their first Bomb Squad Response Truck and two years later obtained their first robot.
In 2007, the Sheriff’s Office matched grant funds and purchased a state-of-the-art Andros F6A robot, complete with remote control capability and four cameras.
Today, the Bomb Squad uses much more sophisticated equipment than was available to bomb technicians of the past. However, current technicians are very grateful for the lessons learned by those early technicians. We strive to stay current on emerging threats and trends, and are committed to keeping the public and law enforcement safe.