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Bomb Squad officers get highly-realistic training experience using real IEDs



Gates, N.Y. – Members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad were among several members of law enforcement who took part in a unique training experience Thursday.

Over the next few days, several agencies will be training in realistic settings, to help hone their skills should they be needed to keep the public safe.

Thursday, members of the MCSO were joined by several law enforcement groups, including the FBI and TSA, for training at a Rochester-area hotel. Taking necessary precautions, actual explosive devices were used to help officers train in a highly-realistic setting.

“We’re able to use actual IEDs within the building, which gives it a more realistic trading ground for us to keep up with our tactics and techniques and procedures,” said Sgt. David Gutzmer, bomb squad commander for the MCSO.

Thursday’s training event was sized down due to COVID-19. Those taking part were broken into small groups and dispersed to different areas around the hotel to help spread everyone out.

Gutzmer says, even with COVID-19, this training is necessary and potentially life-saving.

“Even though we’re going through a pandemic, we still have to be at a superior level with our proficiencies to maintain the public’s safety in the area of western New York,” he said. “And when we come together and train together, it enhances our mutual aid and operations with the other agencies because we all have to support each other in the IED/explosives community.”

Gutzmer said special shielding and other precautions were put in place so that officers would be able to work without potentially being put in danger.