Law enforcement and citizens sensitive to bombing dangers

5:31 PM, Apr 23, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Law enforcement and citizens sensitive to bombing dangers

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Tampa, Florida - Inside Raymond James Stadium, a Tampa Police dog named Rock is rocking his training. He "alerted" by sitting down next to a locker where just a gram of explosives was planted. His big reward is playtime with a toy.

More than a dozen Tampa Bay agencies participated in the training exercise on Tuesday. It was planned weeks ago, but the Boston bombings are top of mind.

"We have taken focus and tried to come up with new ideas, more challenging methods, but our training is very consistent and thorough all the time," says Tampa Police Sergeant Jerry Patrick.

Citizens too, appear to be more sensitized to bombing dangers. On Tuesday morning a woman called 911 after noticing a package placed underneath a mail box near the intersection of Santiago and Dale Mabry.

The small box was wrapped in brown paper and addressed to the Tampa Bay Times, but it had no postage. And after a bomb-sniffing dog alerted on it, police diverted traffic on Dale Mabry and evacuated nearby homes and businesses.

Shortly before noon, a bomb technician crawled on his belly to the package to examine it. After opening the box, investigators found only trash inside.

However, police still say the woman did the right thing reporting the package. 

"If you see something that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, call the police, call 911... let us determine if it's truly a threat," said Police spokesperson Laura McElroy at the scene.

The bomb scare forced about 10 workers at Florida Executive Realty out of the office. They may have been inconvenienced, but Janet Holt says she'd rather have that, than the alternative. 

"We took it seriously. We all immediately left. We'd rather be safe than sorry."

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