Biloxi Police Staying On The Cutting Edge Of Bomb Technology

"What it does, if there's a detonation, it will stop the shrapnel from cutting me up. It would also protect me from a concussion wave," Biloxi Police Officer John Campbell says.

Officer Campbell puts on his $10,000 protective suit when he's called out to handle potential explosives. He was wearing it on the beach Wednesday to disable a suspected grenade. In that case, Campbell used a "disrupter cannon" which fires a shell into the device.

"What the laser sight is used for is, as the disrupter is set up and pointed at the device, or suspected device, it makes sure we're getting an accurate shot."

A tiny X-ray machine is also among the special equipment available. It can quickly snap a picture of what's inside a suspect package. The Biloxi police department has spent tens of thousands of dollars to train and equip the bomb squad.

"I think the bombing in Oklahoma City in '95 was probably the biggest wake up call for a lot of people," Biloxi Police Officer Bruce Dunagan said.

Biloxi police will soon have even more specialized gear to deal with possible explosives. Wednesday afternoon, they brought that suspect device to the beach in the bed of a Public Works truck filled with sand. But a piece of equipment now on order will help provide safer disposal. It's called a total containment vessel and costs $125,000.

"It safely transports any explosive device that you have," Officer Campbell said. "The one we're going to get holds up to five pounds of C-4. If the C-4 detonates, all you hear is a loud puff. And that's just gas escaping."

It's not just Biloxi that will benefit from the bomb squad. The department plans on sharing its equipment and expertise with other coast police agencies.

The Biloxi bomb squad also has an explosives-handling robot on order. The "Mini Andros Two" comes equipped with two video cameras and is operated by remote control.