Bentonville Bomb Squad Gets Homeland Security Grant
The Bentonville City Council is expected to approve a $264,724 Homeland Security grant Tuesday Jan. 8 that will benefit the bomb squad.
“We’re always excited to be able to add to our capabilities,” said Bomb Squad commander Russell Hinds.
The money will be used for equipment and upgrades .
“Such as tactical vests, communications equipment, things that can be rapidly deployed and used for officer safety, as well as resolving the situation a lot faster,” Hinds said.
Once the equipment is bought, the city is reimbursed.
“As soon as they approve the transfer of funds and accept the grant, then we can start making purchases the next day,” Hinds said.
The bomb squad currently has two robots. One robot weighs about 900 pounds and the other weighs 475 pounds. With the grant money, the bomb squad will purchase a smaller one that weighs about 20 pounds.
“It has limited capabilities but it’s a lot better to use in those types of situations,” Hinds said. “You can get it on scene a lot faster and have a lot more movability with the robot.”
The money will also be used for advanced training.
“It’s fairly costly, one of the classes that we are going to do that will involve all the bomb technicians in the state is about $45,000,” Hinds said.
The Bentonville bomb squad has five members from the police department and it’s one of only six bomb squads in the state.
“It’s going to help us, it’s going to help all the agencies around us, the other counties and jurisdictions that we operate in,” Hinds said.