Sheriff’s Department Lt. Billy Barbera called me Thursday evening.
I said, “Hey Billy, what’s up.”
Barbera responded that I had called him and he was returning my call.
Silence, on my end,Â as I tried to remember when I called him and why? It’s 6 p.m. and I still have another hour’s work before I go home.
Barbera is one of Sheriff James Kralik’s public information officers so I must have had a question about something – an arrest, a policy matter.
Before I came up with an answer, Barbera, always the gentleman, asked, “Did you forget I was in Alabama all week?”
Now that you mentioned it,Â I guess so.
The important point is Barbera wasÂ being trained in Alabama becasue he’s a supervisor for the Sheriff’s Department Bomb Disposal Unit. Capt. Louis Falco and Capt. AndrewÂ Esposito already haveÂ taken similar training courses for the countywide unit.
The bomb disposal squad has three officers and two bomb-sniffing dogs, to go along with a bomb disposal robot, X-ray device, a fully equipped bomb truck with all the bells and whistles, and other equipment.Â Two more officers are being trained.
Kralik wants the bomb unitÂ accredited as a level one unit and the ability to handle more than one incident at a time and have extra officers in case of terrorist attack or some other type of castrophe. There was a time when Rockland police waited hours for a bomb squad from either the state police or another county.
Barbera said the unit is several hundred thousand dollars short forÂ another bomb truck and, subsequently, level one status. I could only thinkÂ this sounds like a job for Kralik’s grant-obtainer, David Fried, a former county legislator.Â Kralik hired Fried, a Democrat who didn’t seek re-election in November, and even got Fried a license to carry a gun like he was a police officer.
Back to Barbera, who said he was enjoying the training course.
“I am getting to blow things up,” he said.
He said he would be back Monday and I should call him when I remembered why I called him on Thursday.
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