SWAT teams blowing up Kennewick

SWAT teams blowing up Kennewick »Play Video
KENNEWICK, Wash. - The bomb blasts went off one after another near Clover Island today.

A training mission brought in SWAT teams from all over the state, even Montana and Idaho.

If you were close to the boom, your bones rattled. Blasts were going off all day at this condemned apartment complex in Kennewick. People told us they could hear them in West Pasco. SWAT teams from around the region were learning about explosives.

The buildings served as a laboratory of sorts. It gave officers a chance to sharpen their explosive skills. They mixed various combinations of gun powder and caps with plastic materials, trying to work up an exact formula of what it would take to bust down doors and walls.

Commander Steve Arbuthnot is on the police force in Federal Way. He also heads up the Valley SWAT unit. He said, "Some of these charges have failed, they haven't worked, others have been really hot. Without that data we don't know what's going to work or not."

Officers collected information after each blast. They marked down the winning combinations that will eventually be used in real-life situations.

If you think we won't need any of these maneuvers here in the Tri-Cities, think again. The Tri-Cities SWAT team averages 40 calls per year.

Captain Mike Cobb is on Richland's police force and is a commander on the SWAT team. He said, "These skills have been used here in the Tri-Cities in the past, they will be used in the future, so we've seen a need, we've seen a trend."

By the end of the day the Kennewick Fire Department got a little training of its own. One blast started a fire inside the wall of one building. Crews used chainsaws to chop it down.

It's more on the job training for every tactical team in town.

The port of Kennewick donated the buildings since they will be torn down.

The Tri-Cities SWAT team took care of the explosive materials while Valley SWAT provided the training.