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Hazardous Device


The Kentucky State Police (KSP) Hazardous Devices Unit (HDU) consists of four Hazardous Devices Technicians, which are trained and certified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Additionally, KSP technicians have received training in multiple facets of hazardous materials response in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) National Incident Management System (NIMS) certification. Members of HDU are also trained in underwater search and recovery operations related to explosive threats which may be encountered on or in the waterways of Kentucky.

The Kentucky State Police has jurisdiction throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Personnel and equipment may be utilized in responses outside the borders of the Commonwealth on a case-by-case basis.

Two Mechnical Robots



Hazardous Devices RobotSuspicious, hazardous, unknown devices
Explosive devices
Explosive recovery
Radiological/nuclear detection
Chemical/biological weapons
Explosive disposal (to include fireworks)
Protective details
Large events
Special Events


Response Stats

A certified technician disarming a bomb

The KSP HDU maintains a high-tempo response capability. In the past TWO YEARS, the HDU responded to 172 incidents that resulted in the recovery of 5,180 pounds of deteriorated and extremely hazardous dynamite; 7,881 blasting caps; 558 pounds of other explosive material; 3,000 pounds of illegal fireworks; and 79 pieces of military ordnance, including hand grenades and artillery shells.

The four certified technicians of the HDU also responded to and rendered safe 24 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). These devices included potentially deadly pipe bombs, package bombs, and chemical reactive devices. This has placed Kentucky in the unenviable position of being in the top two states in the nation for recovery and theft of explosives and explosive material.


Radiation/Nuclear Response

KSP Certified Technician at work

Emerging threat doctrine has mandated that Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) equipment and response became a primary focus in FY 2009 and following years.

In 2008, the hazardous devices technicians made a concerted effort in the area of radiation and nuclear material-related response. Each technician received advanced training provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO). After receiving the training, the HDU was provided with vehicle-based and human portable radiation detection and identification equipment.

Joining Forces

explosive ordnance disposal logo

Interoperability training with other units of the Kentucky Explosives Incident Response Task Force (KEIRTF) has been recognized at the highest levels of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATFE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Recognizing the emergence of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) and persona-borne improvised explosive devices (PBIEDs), as well as Radiation Dispersal Devices (RDDs), task force members have trained with and tested new ways to defeat these threats. Partnering units of the KEIRTF not only have trained together, but have also responded to and rendered safe numerous improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as a task force.