The Columbus city council approved the purchase of a new protective suit worth more than $30,000 for the Columbus Bomb Squad, but they say funding is still a constant battle.
Bomb Squad commander Tim Stone says there are six members that make up the bomb squad and all of their bomb suits are expired.
Commander Stone says the Columbus Bomb Squad is the only multi agency team in Georgia. Over the years they’ve mainly relied on grant money. Stone says that grant money keeps decreasing, leaving his team without the most up to date equipment.
Stone told council that bomb suits are made to last seven years and his expired seven years ago. He says he would like council to earmark funds specifically for the bomb squad so they won’t have to receive partial funding from other law enforcement agency funding sources.
“I would like to see a line item in the city’s budget, specifically for the bomb squad to help us just maintain. I’m willing to do whatever I can to go out and write grants and meet all of these requirements. I jump through more hoops than most people notice to try and get what I can for my team, but I just need a little help,” Stone said.
Commander Stone says the average price for a suit costs around $30,000. The suit council purchased cost roughly $33,000.
Commander Stone says right now another bomb suit is being made and they will only need to purchase four more. But as of today, all six bomb squad members do not have suits that are up to date.
Commander Stone says it could be two months before they receive their new suit.