New York Police Department bomb unit is not a “bomb” and the bomb squad is not responsible for the deaths of four officers and a civilian, according to an internal memo obtained by The Times.
The memo, seen by The Associated Press, also says the bomb unit’s name is “Notorious Brooklyn.”
The memo came after a series of recent bomb scares at the NYPD headquarters in Brooklyn, including a May 7 blast that killed one police officer and injured three others.
It is the latest twist in a series that has seen the bomb disposal unit (BPW) being accused of using its ability to quickly and safely dispose of explosives to make false claims about a suspected terror plot, according of the memo.
Officers who were injured in the blast have been released from the hospital and are expected to make a full recovery.
The internal memo also says that the bomb division has been told by the NYPD to “not use words like ‘bomb,’ ‘bomb-squad,’ ‘officer,’ ‘patrolman,’ ‘bomber,’ ‘dope’ or ‘bomb,'” and that officers will be instructed to use a “black, orange, red or blue” symbol on their uniforms when they work in the bomb zone.
Officers will be trained to use this symbol on duty, but the memo says it is up to the department’s bomb squad.
Officers also will be told to “use proper words and tone to convey an image of seriousness when they are doing their job, and not be afraid to use them,” according to the memo, which was obtained by the AP.
Officers should be asked to wear a vest and be trained on proper body language and social cues.
“There are a few things that we don’t want to do that might be perceived as bullying,” said Sgt. Richard Johnson, the NYPD bomb squad’s commander.
“It’s not going to change the way we work.
But it’s going to help us make sure that we’re being as sensitive as possible.”
The bomb squad has been criticized by members of Congress, some officers, and even some of its own officers.
In recent weeks, members of the Bomb Squad have been under scrutiny after a string of bombs were found inside a Brooklyn apartment, including one that killed a New York City Police Department officer and wounded two others.
The AP obtained the memo on Wednesday.
The bomb division is led by Officer Matthew Larkin, who has been on the force for about a year and is the third bomb squad commander in the city.
Officers are not trained on how to handle explosives, but are trained to “be sensitive and respectful of other members of our team, especially in bomb zone,” Johnson said.
The division also is not expected to be able to use the word “bomb,” as it is not legally authorized, and the memo suggests the bomb team will use the term “squad.”
The Bomb Squad was created in 2010 as a unit that works with other units to combat threats to the NYPD, and it has a “large number of specialized bomb-disposal, surveillance and other bomb disposal experts,” the memo said.
A bomb squad member has been in charge since 2012, when he became the first Bomb Squad bomb specialist.
In 2012, the unit was criticized after the bomb scare in New York that killed an NYPD officer and seriously injured two others and a woman.
In the days after the incident, police officers began a series to train bomb squad members in bomb disposal.
The NYPD’s bomb unit was under fire for falsely claiming a terror plot had been foiled after officers claimed to have discovered a bomb-making lab.
A federal court later found that officers’ claims of finding a bomb lab and a possible terrorist lab were not accurate.
The incident led to a federal probe and a scathing Justice Department report that accused the NYPD of failing to properly train bomb-detecting officers and failing to implement proper security measures.
A U.S. Senate report said the bomb-squads “failed to maintain a clear understanding of the bomb threat and failed to develop and implement proper emergency protocols for the bomb squads to respond to bomb threats.”
The report also found that Bomb Squad officers did not have a policy on how officers should handle bombs in bomb zones, and did not use “any appropriate, trained bomb-deterring skills.”
The department has since been criticized for the number of false bomb threats, including those that have led to deaths.
Earlier this month, police in Brooklyn announced a new initiative to crack down on bomb threats.
Officers were asked to put on face masks and use protective goggles to deal with “a large number of bomb threats,” a department spokesperson said.
“The department has a process to respond quickly and appropriately to all bomb threats and has trained bomb squad officers to do this, so we do not have to resort to such tactics,” department spokesperson Jessica Moore said.