Fight to Make Resources from the 148th Unit Locally Available

Access Could Allow Faster Response Time, Enhance Public Safety

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The Hermantown Police Department is fighting to make resources from the 148th Fighter Wing locally available.

The push for more resources comes after police responded to a pipe bomb call at the school last month.

But, the Police Chief says the whole thing could have been resolved a lot faster if they had local bomb squad assistance. 

When Hermantown Police responded to the report of a bomb they had to call for outside help. 

That’s because in 2011 there was a change in management that suspended the 148th from handling calls to reports of explosives. 

So, the Crow Wing County Bomb Squad in Brainerd drove 4 hours to detonate the device in Hermantown. 

After this happened, the Police Department’s intent is now to work with the National Guard to make that resource readily available.

Police say using this unit would not only allow a faster response time but enhance public safety. 

Local law enforcement leaders say it’s frustrating to see a great asset not being utilized.

“It kind of flies in the face of common sense to have this unit located locally, paid for by the taxpayers that’s very highly trained and very capable but not available,” said Hermantown Chief of Police, Jim Crace.

The St. Louis County Board of Commissioners caught wind of the issue and is asking for more support to make the issue more visible. 

The Chief is planning to meet with the Commander of National Guard to try and find a resolution without involving the legislature.

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