It wasn't a day of shopping that brought the bomb squad to the mall, but it was certainly a day of excitement for the crew.
The two man, one dog, Macon Bomb Squad team did a practice run of detonating a bomb inside the mall Wednesday afternoon. The team did the practice run as if there was a real bomb threat, so they know exactly what to do in a real situation.
They brought out the bomb sniffing dog to check the doors and atriums inside the mall, and the full body protective suit that looks like it just came out of the movie The Hurt Locker.
Part of the Macon Mall is being demolished, so mall officials invited the bomb squad in to help them get some practice. The small C-1 explosive was placed inside the main entrance by the covered parking structure where the demolition is taking place, so no one was near the area of the explosion.
Lieutenant Wilton Collins is the Bomb Squad Supervisor. He says his team jumps at every opportunity it can to exercise a real life scenario.
"I guess everybody's fear is to see that one package that is placed in a mall or post office. We're fully prepared to handle that, so every time we get a chance to run something realistically, it's seemless."
Collins says their main job is to find a bomb, and detonate it when they want, and not when the person trying to do damage wants it detonated.
Collins said they responded to 22 bomb threats last year alone.