15.015 - Bomb Threats & Explosive Devices

Effective Date: 05/07/2019


This policy applies to the Department’s response to bomb threats and explosive devices.

1. Only Arson Bomb Squad (ABS) Personnel Who are Currently Certified as Bomb Technicians Shall Handle Explosive Devices

Officers may contact ABS when any doubt exists as to whether they are dealing with an explosive device.

2. Officers Shall Notify ABS When an Explosion has Occurred That Has Resulted in Any Injury or Damage

3. Officers Shall Leave the Decision to Evacuate or Not Evacuate a Scene to the Person in Control of the Property, Unless a Potential Explosive Device is Found

4. Officers Shall Ask Persons Who Locate a Real or Potential Explosive Device to Remain at the Scene to be Interviewed by ABS

5. ABS is Responsible for Moving Explosive Materials

Exception: With the approval of a sergeant, officers may transport only the following materials to the Evidence Unit:

•Small arms ammunition smaller than .50 caliber

•Tear gas capsules that provide identification of their contents

Officers shall notify ABS if the Evidence Unit refuses these materials.


15.015-PRO-1 Responding to Bomb Threats

Dispatch Supervisor

1. Requests a phone call from the appropriate Sergeant

2. Gives the sergeant information about the bomb threat


3. Informs the Dispatch Supervisor how many units to send to the scene

Dispatch Supervisor

4. Dispatches officers via the MDT 

5. Verifies that the sergeant is en route


6. Establishes a command post

a. Instructs all officers to check-in prior to entering the scene

7. Contacts the complainant or person who is in control of the property

a. Assists with determining the credibility of the threat

•Determines how the threat was communicated

•Determines the exact words used in the threat, if possible

•Investigates the existence of any motives for the threat (DV issues, labor matters, etc.)

8. Ascertains from the person-in-control whether the scene will be searched

a. Determines the level of police involvement with the search, if any

9. If a real or potential explosive device is located, notifies ABS immediately

a. Evacuates the property, if it has not already been evacuated

b. Establishes a perimeter commensurate with the level of threat (see the ATF Vehicle Bomb Explosion Hazard and Evacuation Distance Tables)

c. Attempts to locate keys to all areas of the property

d. Draws a sketch of the floor plan around the device, if possible

10. Provides ABS with all available information

11. Confirms that a Report is written

15.015-TSK-1 Responding to Suspicious Packages (Potential Chemical/Biological Weapons)

When investigating a potential chemical or biological weapon, the officer:

1. Requests that a sergeant respond to the scene

2. Requests that the Dispatch Supervisor notify ABS

3. Uses personal protective equipment

4. Identifies potential victims who were exposed to the package or suspected substance


Adrian Diaz, Chief of Police
Address: 610 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104-1900
Mailing Address: PO Box 34986, Seattle, WA, 98124-4986
Phone: (206) 625-5011
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