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Des Moines Police Department Says It’s Ready to Combat Bomb Scares

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Should a threat like the one Los Angeles schools faced Tuesday ever hit Des Moines, police say they are ready and able to handle it.

The Des Moines bomb squad opened their doors for a loot inside their bomb squad deployment units and the bomb disposal robots inside. The bomb squad is constantly recreating the kinds of bombs that terrorists make and use in real-world plots and attacks so that authorities can stay on the cutting edge of what's out there and in the hands of the bad guys.

In the aftermath of the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, authorities found 12 pipe bombs in the home of the attackers. The Des Moines bomb squad recreated that kind of a pipe bomb so that they're ready to meet that kind of threat.

"We've got a fully-staffed and equipped bomb squad that's set up and in place 24 hours a day to respond to these types of incidents, whether it's a threat or a device that's located," said Sgt. Paul Parizek, for the Des Moines Police Department.

The bomb squad doesn't get sent out to just any threat that's made -- only the ones that are validated.

Patrol officers would first respond a situation after being notified of the threat then begin to investigate. Parizek used an example of a threat at a school.

"If they find a device or if they've got a suspect identified, somebody in the school thinks they know who it might be, something like that, we can really start following up on leads. Then we'll also get our detectives involved, and the bomb squad will get involved," Parizek said.

He also said that evacuation isn't always part of the procedure.

"The decision to evacuate a property typically lies with the person who's in control of that property. Until we either validate the threat or we find a suspicious device, then we will order an evacuation at that point," said Parizek.

Parizek also said Des Moines police have tools that help investigate and locate threats made online and track down the people who make them.