Explosive Disposal Unit
The OPP Explosives Disposal Unit (EDU) was formally initiated in 1972. Since that time, its technicians have been challenged with the safe rendering of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and the disposal of abandoned explosives, military ordinance, ammunition and various hazardous substances. Authorities rely upon EDU members to investigate any incident in which an explosion has or possibly could occur.
To serve with the EDU, officers must complete the five-week Canadian Police Explosives Technicians Course. They must re-qualify on a regular basis in order to maintain a high degree of expertise in the recovery and destruction of dangerous materials. There are currently 40 members serving part-time EDU duties for the OPP. They are deployed at nine strategic locations across the province.
EDU technicians use remote methods, whenever possible, to render safe or mitigate explosive devices. Equipment used includes a robot, known as a Remote Mechanical Investigator (RMI), a portable real time x-ray unit, a bomb suit, a bomb shield, a hook-and-line kit and water disruptors.
At the present time there are eight OPP EDU technicians trained in the detection, and monitoring of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) devices. The technicians work in concert with the National Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear and Explosives Team to respond to any incidents involving biological or chemical devices.
The EDU must be in a constant state of readiness, as more than 300 calls for assistance are received each year. EDU members serve with specialists of other police agencies during major events, which require a high level of security such as Royal visits, conferences or international summits.
The unit is called on regularly to lecture to private and public corporations with regards to bomb threat strategies.
The EDU is part of the OPP Field Support Bureau, located at General Headquarters in Orillia.