Bomb teams cover state through collaboration

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By Carol A. Clark

ALBUQUERQUE — Six bomb squads are scattered throughout the state. The Los Alamos Police Department, Albuquerque Police Department, Santa Fe, Doña Ana County, Farmington and the New Mexico State Police each house specially trained bomb teams.

“All six teams collaborate and respond for each other,” said Tom Sparks, a special agent bomb technician with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Albuquerque. “Susan Walker from the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management helps facilitate grant monies for the bomb teams. Los Alamos police got their bomb truck through grant funding and are responsible for responding to incidents in the county including the Laboratory, with possible limited exceptions.”

Los Alamos National Laboratory maintains a hazardous devices team that operates differently and is not included in the six official bomb squads in the state.

“LANL’s HazMat bomb team is not comprised of FBI-certified civilian bomb technicians and therefore is not recognized as a certified bomb team based on national guidelines,” Sparks said during an interview earlier this month in his Albuquerque office.

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