Students Design & Build Training Tool for Scranton Police Department

Standing: L-R Cristian Osuna, James Stine, Carlo Barrasse, Justin Napersky, Lieutenant Detective, Bob Brenzel; Chief of Scranton Police, Carl Graziano; Detective Sergeant, Robert Martin, SPD Bomb Squad Commander; Andrew Stine, Michael Teixeira, and Tyler Byron. Kneeling: L-R Kyle Pesek, Anthony DeLucca Jr., Instructor of Welding Technology; and Brady Walsh.

Johnson College students and instructors from welding technology, advanced manufacturing engineering technology, and architectural drafting & design technology all contributed to a recent project for the Scranton Police Department Bomb Squad. The students created two 6 x 9 ft., c-channel structural steel door frames for the bomb squad to practice explosive entry training.

Since the Orlando nightclub shooting in the summer of 2016, police nationwide are preparing to enter buildings that may be locked down to outside force with a dangerous person or situation inside using explosive entry training. The Orlando incident was a tipping point where many police departments realized that explosive entry training was a necessary and powerful tool. Detective Sergeant Robert Martin, SPD Bomb Squad Commander said, “Developing a program for our officers is expensive, and Johnson College is saving us a ton of money by helping us with this project.” He said, “Chief Graziano, being proactive, wanted to develop a program to prepare the Scranton Bomb Squad in the event that we are confronted with  a situation similar to Orlando.”

The door frame will be used at the police training range on the Morgan Highway where the department also holds pistol and rifle training. “We can train up there by finding doors made of all different configurations including steel and butcher-block. We need to practice and train with all different variants of doors or materials that we may be confronted with.” The frame, designed and built by the Johnson College students allows the bomb squad trainees to attach different kinds and sizes of doors. “What we will do is train to see how much explosive is needed to break through certain materials. Since explosive or forced entry is so dangerous, we want to minimize any harm to the people inside,” said Det. Sgt. Martin. The goal is to use just the right amount of explosive to get through the construction of the door. “We keep records of explosives used to get through different kinds of doors, what the outcomes were, and the amount of fragmentation produced as well as if we had a positive or negative entry,” he said.

The Bomb Squad contacted the College in December and provided photos of what the frames should look like. The students of architectural drafting and design technology rendered the photos to create a set of prints and materials needed. The advanced manufacturing engineering technology students had approximately 10 hours of setting up and machining slots in the frames. Within eight weeks, the project was complete with the help of over 20 students and staff members over spanning over 55 hours of work. Det. Sgt. Martin said, “Thanks to the expertise of the staff and students at Johnson College, it came out perfect.”

Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Technology student, Justin Sickler, works in the Johnson College machine shop to configure the materials for the SPD Bomb Squad explosive entry door frame.