E.P.P. 13 Explosive Devices & Hazardous Material Incidents

I.             PURPOSE:


                The purpose of this directive is to provide guidance and assistance to enforcement employees who respond to calls for service          involving hazardous materials, bomb threats, bombings, and unexploded devices and ordinance.


II.            SCOPE:


  1. It shall be the policy of the police department to utilize the well-equipped and professionally trained explosive ordinance disposal team (E.O.D.) of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. It shall also be the policy to interact, through the E.O.D. team, with the Seminole County Department of Public Safety’s Special Hazards Operations Team.


  1. All calls for service which involve an actual or suspected explosive device or hazardous material will be handled with extreme care. Personnel are reminded that the first priority of the police department is the prevention of injury or death to members of the community and employees of this agency.


III.           GENERAL:


  1. The totality of the police department plan for response to explosive device and hazardous material incidents is divided among three sources, depending upon the assignment of involved personnel:


1.            Enforcement Policy and Procedure ‘Explosive Device & Hazardous Material Incidents’ (enforcement personnel).


2.            Telecommunications Section Standard Operating Procedure ‘Explosive Device & Hazardous Material Incidents’ and    Call Guide Manual ‘Signal 40 Procedures’ (Telecommunications personnel).


3.            Seminole County Sheriff’s Office’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team Standard Operating Procedure (team                members).


B.            No police department employee will order an evacuation from any building or occupied area unless a device is located and human life is in immediate danger. Until a device or suspicious object is found, only a person responsible for the property or area can order an evacuation.




                A.            Bomb: An explosive weapon detonated by impact, proximity to an object, a timing mechanism, or other predetermined        means.


                B.            Acid Bottle Bomb: A plastic or glass drink container that has been filled with a chemical mixture intended to produce a        gas by means of oxidation-reduction. The production of gas under confined conditions continues until the container               containing the mixture is no longer able to withstand the pressure and explodes.


                C.            Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team: The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team consists       of deputy sheriff’s, trained as bomb technicians, who have been trained to handle bomb retrieval and disposal. Said              personnel maintain the requisite equipment, including special purpose vehicles, necessary to facilitate a successful                 resolution to bomb incidents.


                D.            Special Hazards Operations Team: The Special Hazards Operations Team (S.H.O.T.) consists of Seminole County                       Department of Public Safety Fire and Rescue personnel who have been trained to handle hazardous material incidents.          The S.H.O.T. commander will assume command and control from the police department any hazardous material incident.


                E.            Special Operations Commander: The Special Operation Division Commander, who is trained as an E.O.D. commander, is      the chief bomb disposal officer and director of operations for the explosive disposal ordinance team of the sheriff’s               office. The commander (or his designee) shall respond to any scene where an explosive or suspicious device has been            located or detonated to assume command and control of the evidence gathering and disposal operation.


                F.            Incident Commander: The incident commander of any scene where an explosive or suspicious device has been located        will be patrol commander or, if unavailable, an on-duty sergeant, or higher authority until the arrival of trained bomb            personnel.


                G.           Functioned: When a bomb explodes as intended by its design.


                H.            Un-Functioned: When a bomb has failed to function as intended, or is still active and subject to function at any time.


                I.             Render-Safe: The actions taken by certified bomb technicians to render an explosive device safe.


                J.             Hazardous Material: Hazardous materials include any substance, which may be harmful or injurious to humans, domestic animals, wildlife, farm crops or other property. Hazardous materials include any element or compound that is flammable, corrosive, toxic or radioactive.




                A.            Receiving a bomb threat call:


                                1.            When an employee of the Longwood Police Department receives a bomb threat, via phone, the employee will:


                                                a)            Ascertain the location, description, and type of device.


                                                b)            Ascertain the identity and/or location of the caller.


                                                c)            Ascertain the expected time of detonation and/or means of detonation.


                                                d)            Gather any additional pertinent information with regard to the caller and threat.


                                                e)            Notify the appropriate jurisdiction if other than the City of Longwood.


                                                 f)             If within the city limits, notify dispatch about the incident and have units respond to the designated               location.


                                                g)            If the threat deals with the police department building, immediately notify the highest ranking                         department member in the building of the threat.



                B.            Cease all radio and cellular telephone communication when coming within ¼ mile of the threatened area. Communicate      a meeting point for responding officers to meet since there will be no radio or cellular contact available on scene.                 Communication with other enforcement personnel and the Telecommunications Section will be handled by ‘hard line’           telephones. The use of non-cellular or cordless portable telephones may increase the potential of electronic detonation.


                                **Note:               All radios and cellular telephones should be completely turned off. If left on (even though not used)           radios and cellular telephones may still transmit an ‘auto response’ signal.


                C.            Evaluate the threat and request the response of a supervisor, if needed. Contact witnesses at the scene and determine         how the threat was received and details of the threat.


                D.            Contact a person of authority, or obtain the name of such a person who may be contacted in regard to having                          responsibility for the premises (property owner, manager or representative).


                E.            Once a person of authority has been contacted, determine if a search of the premises has already begun:


                                1.            Officers are reminded that, absent the presence of a suspected or confirmed explosive device, they are only in          an advisory capacity at this time.


                                2.            Any decision regarding the premises and/or the safety of persons at said premises must be made by a person            responsible for the premises.


                                F.            If a search has not yet begun, suggest that it be done immediately. Advise the person in authority that conducting a              search of the premises is their responsibility, and that he/she (officer) is not to participate in the search unless required         by circumstances that may include the suspicion of presence of an explosive device.


                                G.           Advise the person having responsibility that he/she will remain at the scene until a search has been completed.


                                H.            If the person in authority is unaware of how to conduct a search, an officer may make the following suggestions:


                                                1.            Employees should search the areas that are within their control and with which they are familiar in order or               ascertain the presence of any suspect object – but that they are not to touch any said object. 


                                                2.            Non-essential persons should be evacuated during the search.


                                                3.            If the threat indicated the location of the bomb, that area should be checked first. If no location was provided,           the building should be checked in the following order:


                                                                a)            Exterior


                                                                b)            Public access areas (lobbies, restrooms, etc.)


                                                                c)            Stairwells


                                                                d)            Engineering spaces, custodial closets, lockers, etc.)


                                                4.            Employees should not close any windows or doors during the search (leaving windows and doors open may               minimize a bomb’s effect if a detonation occurs).


                                                I.             If an evacuation has occurred and no device has been found, it is the responsibility of the person in authority to                      determine when the threatened site is to be re-occupied.




                Upon locating an explosive or suspicious device, involved enforcement personnel will govern themselves by the following                   procedures:


                A.            First officer on the scene:


1.            Move all people to safe areas away from the device at least 300 feet away.


2.            Interview persons present at the scene; attempt to confirm the existence of a suspicious device. Obtain a                   description of the device and its location.


3.            Establish a location for a command post.


4.            Be aware and make notes of secondary hazards such as natural gas, oxygen, fuels, poisons, or possible booby trap    devices, and relay such information to responding bomb technicians upon their arrival.


5.            Notify the Telecommunications Section by telephone:


a)            Advise Telecommunications personnel of the location of the command post


b)            Request the response of a supervisor


c)            Request the response of fire and rescue personnel to the command post


6.            Ensure that a representative of the threatened area has been contacted in regard to the discovery.


7.            Begin to establish a perimeter of at least 300 feet away from the device (if possible) and begin evacuation of all          persons within that perimeter.


8.            Give constant consideration to any reported detonation times.


B.            The first supervisor of the scene:


1.            Ensure that the Telecommunications Section has begun chain of command notifications. Notification with a               request to respond to the scene will be made:


a)            The patrol commander (or, if unavailable, the special operations commander or higher authority)


b)            Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Commander (or the on-duty E.O.D team from S.C.S.O.)


c)            The criminal investigations section’s on-call investigator


d)            The public information officer.


2.            Ensure that the duties of the first officer have been carried out.


3.            Assume command of the scene until relieved by the patrol commander or higher authority.


4.            Confirm the establishment of the command post outside the perimeter. The command post should have telephone communications if available.


5.            Strengthen the perimeter and if necessary, establish an outer perimeter, using field personnel as they become          available for traffic and crowd control.


6.            Establish a media assembly point away from the command post, and direct all media representatives to that              location.


C.            Duties of the patrol commander:


1.            Confirm that the duties of the first officer and supervisor have been carried out.


2.            Assume command of the scene as the incident commander.


3.            Request additional personnel as necessary to perform crowd and traffic control duties and to protect the scene         perimeter.


4.            Ensure that documentation investigatory efforts have begun, if practicable.


5.            Coordinate all emergency services such as fire, rescue and ambulance personnel or the E.O.D. team.


6.            Provide assistance to the E.O.D. team leader.


D.            In the event of fire or explosion, the fire department shall assume command within the scene perimeter until the                    immediate danger has passed.




A.            The priority of all personnel when responding to calls involving actual explosions is the preservation of human life.                 Response to these calls for service should be handled as expeditiously as possible without endangering the lives of                 innocent civilians or other police department personnel.


B.            Dispatched officers and supervisors will respond with assisting personnel as is necessary to fulfill their responsibilities as     described in this directive regarding safety and the security, investigation and preservation of a scene that involves           explosives and hazardous materials. Particular emphasis shall be applied to the major functions of:


1.            Ensuring that fire and rescue personnel have been notified to respond, if necessary.


2.            Evacuation of injured persons, if necessary.


3.            Securing the scene for investigation purposes.


4.            Requesting the response of the:


a)            E.O.D. team


                b)            Public information officer


                c)            Criminal investigations section investigator


5.            Ensuring that the Telecommunications Section has begun chain of command notifications.


6.            If a device is located, all precautionary measures will remain in effect assuming there are secondary and/or                multiple devices until ALL of the areas are searched and declared safe.




A.            Under no circumstances should an employee who has not received specialized training in the handling and/or disposal of    hazardous materials, needlessly risk injury solely for the purposes of recovering evidence.


B.            Procedures affecting acid bottle bombs vary from those of major explosive devices or hazardous materials. Enforcement        personnel will govern themselves accordingly.


C.            Procedures:


                In all incidents where an acid bottle bomb is encountered, the following procedures shall be adhered to:


                1.            Un-functioned acid bottle bomb:


a)            Evacuate all persons to a minimum distance of 100 feet from the suspected bomb.


b)            Through a supervisor request the response of:


                (1)          The E.O.D. on call team member


                (2)          The on call criminal investigations investigator


c)            Upon arrival of the E.O.D. team, members of the unit will recover the container and obtain a sample of its liquid contents:


(1)          Members of the E.O.D. team will neutralize the contents of any container or expelled substance that is contaminating the area


(2)          Officers shall observe the collection of any samples


(3)          The on call investigator shall take receipt of the samples collected by the E.O.D. team and submit them into evidence.


d)            Once the safety of persons is secured, documents the incident with an incident report.


2.            Functioned acid bottle bomb:


a)            Removes all persons from areas contaminated by contents of the bottle.


b)            Render appropriate first aid if injured persons are on the scene, and request fire and rescue personnel


c)            Avoid contact with any contaminated areas


d)            Through a supervisor, request the response of:


                (1)          E.O.D. on call team member


                (2)          On call criminal investigations investigator


e)            Upon the arrival of the E.O.D. team, members of the unit will recover the container and obtain a sample of its liquid contents:


(1)          Members of the E.O.D. team will neutralize the contents of any container or expelled substance that is contaminating the area.


(2)          Officers shall observe the collection of any samples.


(3)          The on call investigator shall take receipt of the samples collected by the E.O.D. team and submit them into evidence.


f)             Document the incident with an incident report.





                A.            General:


1.            Hazardous materials are used by a number of businesses in the City of Longwood. Numerous materials are                  transported throughout the county by common automobiles, trucks, rail cars and aircrafts.


2.            Crashes and spills present a serious threat to the health and safety of the general public and especially to the             officer who arrives on the scene first.


3.            Enforcement personnel are advised that any spill of liquid, any leak of a gaseous material, or any spill of a solid          material or compound will be considered a hazardous material incident until proven otherwise.


B.            Procedures:


1.            Any suspected combustible, explosive or hazardous material will not be handled by any police department                 personnel.


2.            In incidents where a device or suspect material is found, the following procedures are to be followed by the first       officer on the scene:


                a)            Evaluate the situation:


(1)          If a person responsible for the transportation or possession of the suspect material is present,           obtain a description of the material:


                (a)          Does the person know what the material is?


(b)          Are there markings on any vehicle or shipping containers?


(c)           Is manifest information available?


(2)          Request the response of the:


                (a)          Fire department and H.A.Z.M.A.T.


                (b)          On duty supervisor


                (c)           On call E.O.D. member


b)            Evacuate all persons to a minimum distance of 300 feet from the suspect material.


c)            Request that Seminole County Traffic Engineering or City of Longwood Department of Public Works                respond with emergency road closure equipment, if necessary.


d)            If necessary, establish a designated command post and advise the Telecommunications Section of its              location.


e)            Obtain a complete and accurate description of the suspect material as is possible without endangering          yourself or others.


f)             Be aware and make notes of any secondary hazards such as natural gas, oxygen, fuels, poisons, or possible    booby trap devices, and relay such information to responding technicians upon their arrival.


g)            Request any additional assistance as is needed to contain the situation.




                A.            Victim of a federal crime:


1.            If a bombing involves a foreign official or an official guest of the United States, or is the result of a bank robbery or act of extortion, jurisdiction is concurrent with the Federal Bureau of Investigations.


2.            The incident commander will direct the Telecommunications Section to notify the district F.B.I. office and request a response to the scene.


3.            If the F.B.I. clearly indicates that it will assume command of the situation, the police department will comply and     release the scene to F.B.I. personnel when relieved.


4.            If the F.B.I. indicates that jurisdiction remains concurrent, joint decision-making will be facilitated by the incident     commander, the E.O.D. member and the senior F.B.I. agent at the scene. Concurrent jurisdiction implies              concurrent responsibilities. All subsequent strategy must be mutually planned and implemented.


B.            Other police jurisdiction:


                A police department incident commander having authority over a bomb scene, will retain such command until another law enforcement agency clearly demonstrates that jurisdictional responsibility is theirs and verbally assumes command of the scene.




                A.            Bombs and bombings:


1.            At any incident where a bomb has been found or has detonated, the responsibility for documenting and investigating the incident is delegated as follows:


a)            Initial on scene incident report: Written by the first officer on the scene, or by other personnel as may be delegated by the incident commander.


                b)            Evidence collection: Delegated to the E.O.D. Team.


c)            Criminal investigation: Delegated to the criminal investigations section of the police department.


B.            Hazardous materials:


1.            The investigation and reporting of hazardous material spills resulting from vehicle crashes rests with the police department and the Seminole County Department of Public Safety’s Special Hazards Operations Team (S.H.O.T.)


2.            In hazardous material incidents/crashes that involve rail cars, vessels, or aircraft, the Seminole County Department of Public Safety will coordinate notification of the proper investigative and disposal agencies. Enforcement personnel will assist these agencies as requested.


3.            Incidents that occur concerning vehicles transporting hazardous materials are investigated by the traffic unit. Incidents may be brought to the attention of enforcement personnel through suspicious vehicle complaints, traffic stops, etc. The traffic unit may deem it necessary to request the assistance of the Florida Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Compliance Unit.


a)            In any serious or life threatening situation, police department enforcement personnel will follow the              procedures addressing hazardous materials as outlined in this directive.


b)            When a clear violation or hazard is observed that is not at present life or environmentally threatening, police department enforcement personnel will direct the Telecommunications Section to notify the traffic supervisor and request that a traffic officer respond. The traffic supervisor may request further assistance from the Florida Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Compliance Unit:


(1)          Enforcement personnel will serve as support to the Motor Carrier officer by directing traffic etc.


(2)          Any law enforcement action (i.e. citations, written reports, placing a suspect vehicle out of service, towing, impoundment, etc.) is the responsibility of the investigating officer from the motor carrier compliance unit or the responding traffic officer.