By Geena Martinez
MIDLAND - Dealing with live explosives isn't something many people would volunteer to do, but for the members of the Midland Police Department Bomb Squad, it's part of the job.
We've had some recent scares in the Tall City.
NewsWest 9 went inside the squad's local training center to get a look at what they do every time they're out on a call.
You see it on TV and in the movies, but for these guys, there are no special effects.
The Midland Police Department Bomb Squad is a small but strong force of sharply trained men who volunteer their time.
The squad is made up of just three members covering 17 counties. Brian Rayco is the Sergeant.
"Our decisions are made for life protection first, property second and that's just the way it goes," Rayco said.
The squad averages about two calls a month.
Three calls came in just in the last few weeks when a Stripes convenience store was targeted twice in as many days. Then there was the backpack scare last week at Midland Park Mall.
"We consider every single one of them an actual event until we prove it otherwise," Rayco said.
And just how do they do that? Well NewsWest 9 went to see for ourselves.
We went outside for a basic drill. A suspicious package has been found and needs to be X-rayed. Next, the squad brings the X-ray film inside to be scanned and the image is displayed on monitors.
"That's your basic drill, if everything goes wrong, that's what we have to do," Rayco said. "We have to get in the suits and go downrange and X-ray suspicious packages."
The squad's robot performed those X-rays during the Midland Park Mall incident.
"It ended up being a jewelry box and there were some circuit boards and watches and stuff like that inside," Rayco said. "We don't know if it was somebody who might've been homeless and left their backpack inside."
But it's not just suspicious packages or bomb threats that they respond to. The guys are even called to help out local oil companies who make shocking discoveries.
Sgt. Rayco said parts of the Basin used to be a bombing range back in World War II.
"There are still rounds out there, duds, trainers or actual explosives," he said.
But it's nothing the bomb squad can't handle.