Technology assisting police with uptick in bomb-related calls in Charlotte

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – Technology is helping CMPD’s bomb squad save a life. They’re using robots instead of people to handle bombs that are real or fake.

Sergeant Chad Strong says it comes in handy as the department is seeing an increase in the number of calls about bombs being found in Charlotte.

“We start with the robot if we can do everything without sending a bomb tech downrange we will try and do it,” Strong said. “It can do anything that a one-armed person can do it.”

Most of the bombs found turn out to be fake but police say it’s still raising concern for the people who find them.

Authorities responded to a call last week where they found a replica of a military explosive on Queens Drive.

“If you find them, please call us don’t touch it, just leave it where it is,” Strong said. Right now, CMPD has 13 certified bomb technicians who have gone through extensive training to detect if the bomb is active or not.

Wearing heavy custom gear and clothing protects them against explosions if they happen. The custom suit weighs about 85 pounds. Police say calls into the department have gone up as more large-scale events start to happen in the Queen City.

Normally they would respond to about 60 calls a year, now it’s more than 100 and growing. Officials remind people that bombs and some fireworks are illegal in North Carolina and say most people who make them at home are more curious versus looking for a way to hurt people.

“If you know of anyone that’s using, manufacturing or has possession of illegal homemade or improvised fireworks, please call us because the danger to the public is very great,” Strong said.

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