Pueblo Bomb Squad participates in an explosive exercise

PUEBLO, Colo. — Recruits practiced Wednesday at the Pueblo Police Academy in an explosives hazard drill, giving recruits a taste of what they might face in the real world. life.

“You had no idea what was going to happen. It shook the earth,” said Shae Maestas, a rookie at the Pueblo Police Academy.

“It gives an opportunity to kind of see the dangers of a detonator and then some of the higher explosives that we have,” said Dustin Taylor, commander of the Pueblo Metro Bomb Squad.

Bomb threats are not unheard of in southern Colorado.

“On average, we get between 50 and 100 calls a year for the past two years,” Taylor said. “COVID has kind of brought that down. But we also see an increase in calls at this time of year.

Sometimes he said they deal with military explosives, and sometimes they are hidden on people’s properties.

“We see a lot of calls involving old mining explosives, especially in some of the old mining towns and even in farming communities,” he said.

One reason Pueblo law enforcement says recruits need to be aware of the strength of smaller devices.

“We basically wanted to show a power of what a detonator can do to a person if they hold it in their hand. Once it’s confined, it can actually blow someone’s hand off or do a lot of damage to them, even in the face, if they get it too close.

Additionally, Taylor said explosives can be assembled with household items that are readily available to everyone.

“These are the dangers of gases when they ignite.”

The day ended with a bang – an earth-shattering explosion that shook the ground with a commercial-grade bomb.

“Even anticipating that there was going to be an explosion, it still shook you,” Maestas said. “You felt your insides moving. You felt the shock and the waves.

The Pueblo Bomb Squad said it also hopes the community can be aware and know when to call when they see something suspicious.

“If you don’t recognize something and you just have a hunch that you think it’s wrong, we prefer to get out. Let’s say it’s something and it’s nothing rather someone gets hurt,” Taylor said.

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