FBI to officially re-certify Biloxi Bomb Squad

The Biloxi Police Department Bomb Squad — the only fully staffed, trained and equipped bomb squad in south Mississippi and one of only four in Mississippi — has been re-certified by the FBI.

Bomb technicians from FBI field offices in Jackson and New Orleans inspected the squad in December and found that the unit adhered to national standards involving safety equipment, standard operating procedures, and technician certification.

Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen of the FBI’s Jackson field office will present re-certification documents to Biloxi Police Chief John Miller and the Bomb Squad during a ceremony this morning at the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Building in Biloxi.

Biloxi’s bomb squad, which is commanded by Sgt. John Campbell, responds to calls for assistance from agencies throughout the lower six counties of Mississippi. The team, which has provided security for the NFL’s Super Bowl and numerous presidential details, is trained to deal with found ordnance, improvised explosives devices and suspicious items.

The unit was formed in August 2000 and today has five nationally certified bomb technicians. The officers have achieved their certification after undergoing a rigorous six-week course at the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School. Graduates of the school, which is at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., are trained to handle IED’s, bomb threats, recovered explosives, response protocols, disposal of fireworks, improvised explosives and a host of counterterrorism-related situations.

Biloxi’s bomb squad technicians are required to be re-certified every three years by attending a one-week recertification course funded by the FBI at the Hazardous Devices School.

Besides Biloxi, the other bomb squads in Mississippi are at police departments in Jackson, Tupelo, and Clinton. Nationally, there are 468 bomb squads.