Criminal Justice Careers | What's it Like to be a Bomb Tech? Part 1
Check out the video of a sophisticated robot called Boots used by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit in the State Fire Marshal's Office.
Brandon Ball keeps his gold Ford Explorer packed with gear you don’t find in the back of just any law enforcement officer’s vehicle.
A 100-pound Kevlar bomb suit with a 30-pound helmet. Flack vest. X-ray equipment.
And a sophisticated 180-pound robot called Boots.
Boots has six cameras, video and audio capability, a weapons system, the ability to climb stairs, grab objects, and destroy improvised explosive devices.
Plus the scars from five bullets taken in the line of duty.
Law enforcement major/bomb technician teaches online classes.
Ball is a law enforcement major in the Bureau of Fire & Arson Investigations with the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office. He has been a member of one of the bureau’s specialty teams – the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit – for more than five years.
In addition to overseeing 50 law enforcement officers conducting fire, arson, and explosives investigations throughout the southern half of the state, Ball serves as a bomb tech in central Florida.
He also teaches several online criminal justice classes in evidence gathering and preservation for Saint Leo’s Center for Online Learning.
If you’re a criminal justice major – or interested in a law enforcement career – take a look at the video Mike Dadez, Saint Leo’s social media manager, took of Ball’s demonstration of Boots.
You’ll get a glimpse into:
- The robot’s unique weapons system and its internal components
- Ball’s conversation with Boston’s chief of police following the marathon bombings
- Skills and training required of a bomb tech
- Some of the safety equipment bomb techs use
Ball’s online students ask him a lot of questions about his professional experience as a bomb technician and also about his expertise as arson investigator.
In an upcoming blog post, Ball will provide answers to many of those questions: about how he got started in his career, the highly specialized training he has received, and his advice for students who like to follow a similar path.