Cracks and decay are just two of the things that blow Lieutenant Wilton Collins' trust inhis department'salmost 20-year-old bomb containment unit.
Collins with the Macon Police Department says, "In the past several years, it's just gotten older and even though it's one inch thick, double-ringed, we still get a little concerned. So, we try to call the Air Force's EOD unit and they would come up and we would use their trailer, but ours, I just didn't feel safe about using it."
If the Macon Police Department Bomb Unit finds an explosive, they place it in the cylinder surrounded by 2 one-inch thick pieces of steel to contain the explosion and project it straight into the air. Collins says some bombs are too complex for this trailer to safely handle.
He says, "Say the package or the bomb has been enhanced, it may have a biological component to it, it may have a chemical component to it, now the technology is there where they want it completely contained in a big ball, but if there's still a biological component with it, they have filters that actually filter out any threats that would hit the public."
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency offered the city over half a million dollars in grant money to pay fora new trailer and a bullet-proof vehicle for the city's SWAT team.
"If you've got a shooter, like at Virginia Tech or some other place, and he's just shooting everywhere," says Collins,"you pull up in a vehicle and your vehicle provides zero protection for that. The police officer pulls up and the bullets go straight through it, not this. The Bearcat's completely armored; SWAT team comes up, and it will actually take rifle shots directly to it."
There are 15 bomb units in Georgia that work directly with a SWAT team. The state agency chose the Macon squad as one of eight to receive the grant money for the armored vehicle.
Lieutenant Collins says they hope to have the two new units within a week if the full council approves the grant during Tuesday night's meeting.