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Mail bombs across America: How would Bannock County respond?

Mail bombs have been an issue in America for more than a century. This week, nearly a dozen bombs were mailed to politicians and politically active figures across the country including the Obama’s and Clinton’s among others.

It is eerily similar to an occurrence from 1919 when 36 bombs were mailed to American politicians and appointed officials. Similar to this week’s situation, several of the bombs were discovered before arriving at their intended destination.

Here in Bannock County, there isn’t currently a threat, nor has there been in several years.

But what would happen if one of the packages made its way here?

Pocatello doesn’t have a bomb squad. The city sought funding for one but it was ultimately given to Idaho Falls, nearly 50 miles north, in 2007.

Currently, the plan of county officials would be to set a perimeter and then place a call to Idaho Falls, meaning that at a minimum, it would be 45 minutes between detection and someone actually making a move on the device.

But that’s far better than waiting for the squad from Utah, something they had to do before the establishment of the team in Idaho Falls.

Six hours was the normal wait time then, Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said. But now with a squad in state and less than an hour away, Nielsen says people should report and stay away from anything they feel is suspicious.

“Don’t touch it. Leave it alone,” Nielsen said. “And so when they see something that doesn’t look right, call us. That’s what they’re getting paid for.

According to Nielsen, it would only take a few hours from detection to disarmed. Time isn’t really a factor in many of these things, despite what people would think, as these bombs are generally not time-sensitive as they appear in the movies or on TV, according to Nielsen.

The FBI and other law enforcement groups around the nation are currently searching for the person, or persons, responsible for these bombs.

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