Bomb Squad (EOD)
Captain David Pistarelli
Bomb Squad Commander
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad is one of the oldest specialty units in the agency and is one of the Regional Response Teams for the State of Florida. Due to our participation as a regional response team and Sheriff Dean’s strong involvement in the Regional Task Force, the Bomb Squad has obtained the most modern equipment available.
The Bomb Squad has seven members, including one reserve deputy. All members of the Bomb Squad are assigned to full-time duties in the agency and respond as needed. Deputy Danny Marshall and Deputy Randy Scheib are the Senior Bomb Technicians on the team and Deputies Chris Waddell and Craig Evans are awaiting assignment to Hazardous Devices School. We are extremely lucky to have Reserve Deputies Dennis Durden and Jim Pott on the team as a technical advisors and Bomb Technicians.
Deputy Durden was the former Bomb Commander prior to his retirement. He also retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Bomb Squad and teaches for the State Department.
Deputy Jim Pott retired from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s Bomb Squad and has been a valuable asset to our team. All Bomb Squad members are required to attend Hazardous Devices School at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, which is the only school in the United States for civilian law enforcement personnel.
Bomb Technicians work with other technicians from all over the country with equipment similar to the equipment that their agencies use, allowing Bomb Squads throughout the country to work with each other if needed. In addition to HDS, all certified Bomb Technicians have also been through the 160 Hour Hazardous Materials Technician course at the Florida State Fire College. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad is unique in the fact that it works closely with the Marion County Fire Service’s Hazardous Materials Team and has three members of the “Haz-mat Team” that can respond with the Bomb Squad for technical advise and assistance. Shortly after September 11, 2001 during the “anthrax/white powder scare,” Sheriff Ed Dean and Marion County Fire Chief Stuart McElhaney created a response unit comprised of two Hazardous Materials Technicians and one Bomb Technician to respond to the calls. During a two month period, the unit responded to over 150 calls.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad responds to a variety of calls including; specific bomb threats, suspicious package/device calls, demolition and disposal of explosives, citizen demonstrations, clandestine drug labs, hazardous materials calls, “white powder” calls, and provides the squad’s robot for assistance on SWAT calls. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad also covers areas of Levy and Putnam County as their primary bomb squad and backs up all surrounding counties.