CBP Responds to Detroit's Second Bomb Threat in One Week
At approximately 7:30 p.m. on Monday July 16, an anonymous caller contacted the Detroit Police Department (DPD) stating a bomb was on the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, Michigan and would detonate within 10 minutes.
Upon notification from DPD, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers immediately set up a command center at the Fort Street Cargo facility as well as a tactical command center outside the bridge complex.
Their first priority which was executed flawlessly within minutes of the call, was to clear all vehicles and passengers off the bridge and completely secure the scene as numerous Federal, State and local law enforcement partners responded to the scene with bomb sniffing dogs and an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team from DPD.
As law enforcement members from across the greater Detroit metropolitan area were responding, Incident Commander Don Johnson of the Detroit Police Department began his coordination with CBP management to secure the area and asked for CBP assistance by land, water and air. CBP officers from Detroit were immediately positioned on all major highways and side streets to secure the area surrounding the bridge as well as to inform drivers of the bridge closure.
CBP U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Detroit Sector were asked to perform scene security, traffic assistance and also to assist along with the United States Coast Guard to provide a 1,000 yard safety zone on both sides of the bridge with the stations SAFE boats.
The air request was also answered with a Great Lakes CBP Office of Air and Marine, ASTAR-350 which provided an aerial search capability with its Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) which allowed it to search the entire bridge and also let officers on the ground know if there were any potential risks ahead of them.
Director Field Operations, Christopher Perry and Port Director, Roderick Blanchard where also on scene to assist in any way they could with the ongoing emergency.
Response to the scene was enormous with over 15 different Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies responding. The quick response enabled Inspector Johnson to set up an expert tactical team to sweep the Ambassador Bridge with numerous K-9 teams and EOD.
"We have set the bar for Michigan and team work to get the job done,'" said DPD Inspector Don Johnson. "The way that all of these agencies came together and worked as a single team was simply amazing."
The sweep of the bridge lasted over 2 hours as members of CBP worked behind the scenes and also on the front lines to make sure the Ambassador Bridge was secure to re-open ensuring the safety of those entering and exiting the country.
"Thank you for your leadership during this response," said Director Field Operations, Christopher Perry when speaking to DPD Inspector Johnson. "You have done an outstanding job."
The Ambassador Bridge re-opened at 1am on Tuesday after being shut down for almost 5 hours. The exhaustive search of the bridge came up with negative results to any explosives items that the caller referenced in his phone call to DPD.
The Detroit Police Department has named a person of interest in the bomb threat and believes that the call originated from a home in Detroit.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.