Twin Ports Officials Discuss Possibility of Local Bomb Response Team

SUPERIOR, Wis. – A bomb scare outside Superior Fire Department headquarters is raising some questions about why there’s not a local bomb response team in the Twin Ports.

It’s a topic brought up again after a Wisconsin bomb squad came from hours away in response to the potential threat in Superior.

Superior Police Chief Nicholas Alexander and Mayor Jim Paine both say a local team would make the response much easier for bomb threats like the one Tuesday.

“If we had a regional bomb squad, this could be a relatively minor affair,” said Mayor Paine at the scene.

Tower Avenue was blocked off for hours as officials waited for the Marathon-Oneida County Bomb Squad to drive three and a half hours to Superior.

“There is a cost to waiting for another team to respond in terms of the cost of the businesses, the inconvenience to the community, staff hours to secure and maintain the scene until they arrive,” said Chief Alexander.

He tells us there are ongoing talks between the Superior and Duluth police departments about creating a regional response team.

“As with anything new, it’s expensive, the equipment is expensive, the training is expensive, so there are obstacles that would have to be overcome for us to have that as a local resource,” explained Alexander.

Meanwhile, the Duluth Police Department has a team of two, soon to be three, bomb-sniffing K-9s who can help to rule out a lot of threats before a state bomb squad has to be called.

“Just because you don’t get an alert on something doesn’t necessarily mean you open the package or the suspicious item or you move the suspicious item or anything like that, but it’s something that is a very valuable piece of information if your dog goes past it and does not alert,” said Sgt. Kelly Greenwalt of the Duluth Police Department.

If Duluth police call in a bomb squad, they would respond from either the Twin Cities metro area or Crow Wing County.

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