Hazardous Devices Unit

The mission of the Norman Police Department's Hazardous Devices Unit (HDU) is to conduct all investigations into reports of devices or materials that could be hazardous in nature. 

Before 1972, NPD had no formal bomb squad. A series of individual police officers, who possessed military training, were responsible for incidents involving explosive devices. That year, the department sent its first officer to the Hazardous Device School (HDS), a joint effort between the United States Army and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to train civilian bomb technicians, in Huntsville, Alabama. By the early 1980's, the department had three certified bomb technicians creating the first three-person, NPD Bomb Squad.

In 2001, the Bomb Squad transitioned into the Hazardous Devices Unit after members responded to 210 calls for service regarding anthrax during that year alone. At the time, the Bomb Squad was the only entity prepared to handle incidents involving biological or chemical attacks within the City of Norman leading to the birth of the HDU. 

From humble beginnings when the tools of a bomb technician fit in a single briefcase, the NPD HDU now possesses over one million dollars worth of equipment. In fact, it is one of only seven certified squads in the state of Oklahoma. Today, the HDU includes six certified bomb technicians and three explosive detection K-9s afforde through a partnership with the University of Oklahoma Police Department. The HDU also maintains four full-coverage bomb suits, four designated response vehicles, a robot, multiple x-ray systems, weapons systems, biological/chemical/radiological detection equipment, and a command trailer. 

The Norman Police Department Hazardous Devices Unit is under the command of Captain Chris Amason.