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Police train to breach fortified doors
Bomb training DSC_5788.jpg

Several loud explosions were heard Friday morning in south Ripon as the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad or), the Manteca Police Department, the Ripon Police Department and fire departments from Manteca and Ripon gathered to evaluate a new tool designed to breach heavily fortified front doors with small explosives without endangering the occupants.

Bear Training Solutions of Escalon offered their Military/PD Door Breacher for the training exercise that was set up in the center of the Ripon Police firing range on the southern outskirts of Ripon near the Stanislaus River.

Manteca Police Sergeant Gregg Beall and detective Ian Osborn lead the county-wide bomb squad unit that is called upon regularly by all the police SWAT and fire departments within the county. Members of the Manteca-Ripon SWAT team were also at the four-hour demonstration including Paul Rourick, Gordon West, Erik Boger, and Carlos Gutierrez.  Rourick is the tactical commander.

Once Sgt. Beall explained the training operation to the officers and firefighter personnel standing off to the side of the display zone, he called out the familiar warning of an impending explosive test:

“Fire in the hole!  Three, two one!” ….followed by an explosion that left a plume of white smoke and a hole in the demonstration door.  Twenty minutes later a second test followed with the same warning as the officers watched. 

The intent of the demonstration was to collect evaluations from the members of the different departments throughout the county departments prior to another training session to be held in Manteca next week that will include Lodi and Stockton departments.  

Explosives have been used in Manteca in past years when a violent criminal will fortify himself in a building following a major crime such as a bank robbery or a murder when officers must get inside a commercial building or home to make an arrest – mostly in the form of flash-bang grenades designed to confuse fugitives and force them from a building with the addition of tear gas.

A case in point was the armed robbery of the Bank of America in downtown Manteca when two suspects ordered the occupants of a small home in the 100 block of South Lincoln Avenue out of their house.  They eventually moved up into the attic where officers had to deploy one of their police dogs.  One of the men actually blew out of a roof vent and the other attempted to kill the canine and had his face turned into “hamburger” before he was rescued by officers as he fled to the roof over a six hour period.   

It is hoped that all of the departments within the county could share the cost of the PD Door Breacher and be able to use it when needed in emergency training and at the scene. 

To contact Glenn Kahl, email