Inside Asheville Police’s new life-saving tool — a high-tec…

In this week’s Carolina Moment, News 13 got an inside look at a new tool the Asheville Police Department will use to help save lives.

The new bomb squad response truck will not only help keep the community safe, but it will also be there to help other agencies keep their communities safe, too.

The truck has APD’s logos, along with Bomb Squad Response on the outside. But the inside gives multifunctional a whole new meaning.

It’s essentially the brain of the team’s entire bomb threat response operation. Asheville Police Capt. Joe Silberman gave New 13 a look around.

“We’ve got other cameras. So, if I need like real fine motor skills, that’s an option,” Silberman said about extra cameras that can be attached to a robot that can be stored inside the new truck.


Every tool, panel and teammate operating the equipment has a purpose. All of it with one goal: eliminate a bomb threat.

“The rest of the team can be in here, and there are several screens we could use. We’ll look at our X-rays in here. John’s flying the robot right now. Jason’s flying our drone,” Silberman explained during an exclusive tour in the truck.

Silberman said the department has three trained team members, with a fourth teammate in training.

“We all know what kind of ammo works on what kind of target. We know how to put on a bomb suit. We know when we need a bomb suit. We know how to drive a robot because we all went to the same robot school,” Silberman said.


The next stop on the tour might be the piece de resistance: the team’s robot decked out with lots of bells and whistles.

“It can hold tools and do jobs. It can cut wires; it can pull things apart. It can cut things open, open boxes, close things,” Silberman explained.

More than half a dozen built-in, or add-on, cameras can be attached to the robot. This next-level bomb robot even has built-in water cannons to disrupt and destroy a dangerous device.

The unit also has a drone that can work in conjunction with the robot, to help from higher ground.

The last piece of gear the News 13 crew had a chance to see was the team’s head-to-toe bomb suits, meant to keep someone alive through heat blasts, fragmentation and impact.

“If you are blown back, whatever you hit, or wherever you land or however you land, you’re OK,” Silberman said.

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