40 Lake Mary officers head to New Mexico for bomb training



LAKE MARY, Fla. - Lake Mary is making sure its police officers are well-trained to deal with a bomb scare similar to one reported in Cocoa on Friday.

The department is paying for all 40 officers to go to New Mexico for free training, and they invited Channel 9's Myrt Price to see what they'll be learning and how it will help protect the public.

In many cases, Lake Mary officers will still need the bomb squad. Officers won't be able to dispose of bombs, but the training will help them learn more about what they're dealing with, and help them to determine when or if to call in the bomb squad.

"It's so easy to make bombs and they cause a tremendous amount of damage, and we've seen a lot of that lately," said Zach Hudson, of the Lake Mary Police Department.

Hudson said police academy textbooks have barely a couple of paragraphs about bombs, but in the wake of the Boston terror attack, he believes officers need more training.

"We have to be able to identify these things," said Hudson. "We have to be able to deal with these things more effectively, and this training provides that."

Since the April 15 Boston bombings, Channel 9 has reported nearly 20 bomb threats or suspicious packages all over central Florida, including a suspicious package found at the Lake Mary Post Office, which turned out to be an empty box.

One of the most important things officers have learned during the course is that bombs can be deadly even at great distances away.

Soldiers in one training video are blocks away from an explosion, but they're nearly hit by debris.

Police also learned that during an explosion, even if you're hiding behind a brick wall, you may not be protected, because you could be injured by the shock wave or flying shrapnel.