RENO, NV - If you saw something suspicious on a sidewalk or in a garbage can near your home or business, would you make a call? These days here in the Truckee Meadows it's happening more than you think, and the consolidated bomb squad is encouraging such vigilance. That encouragement, however, has made their job busier than ever.
One of the most explosive episodes this year, the Boston Marathon bombing, killed 3 people and injured scores of runners and spectators.
Viewed by millions across the country, it could be the reason our local bomb squad is seeing a record number of calls this year.
“On average, this year, one a day. Historically it's a pretty big increase over the years where its been 1 every two to 3 days,” says Officer Jason Morgan with the Consolidated Bomb Squad.
The numbers reflect calls where suspicious packages are discovered, like the luggage found near the Reno Arch, or a package at the courthouse.
Or a call into police saying there was an explosive device at the Livestock Events Center where this year's Reno Rodeo was taking place.
All of these calls turned up nothing.
“If something looks suspicious, then the saying out there now is "see something, say something." And if it looks like something to you then say something. Call the police, call the Sheriff's Department, and eventually it will be investigated and the bomb squad may be called,” says Officer Morgan.
Morgan says the increase in calls also includes requests made to the consolidated bomb squad for a sweep of an area before a large or high-profile event takes place.
Such a request came from “Moms On The Run” this year, and according to Morgan, may in part be a reaction to the Boston Marathon bombing.
While there are calls where nothing is found, Morgan says if there is something, it is typically a pipe bomb.
But another trend this year: The consolidated bomb squad is getting more calls about hand grenades being found by average citizens.