A look inside FBI improvised explosives training

By Audrey Williams

May 8, 2013 Updated May 8, 2013 at 10:38 PM CDT

PAWNEE, Ill -- Law enforcement and first responders are always training to stay ahead of threats. Wednesday, we got a special look inside an improvised explosives demonstration with the FBI.

About 50 people from different law enforcement agencies, first responders and representatives from the chemical industry went through an explosives awareness training Wednesday. The workshop was part classroom and part live demonstration.

"The purpose of this demonstration was to give first responders an idea of some of the precursors for improvised explosives," said FBI Bomb Tech Steve Evans.

Those in attendance say the bombings in Boston add a different element to a training like this.

"This training is especially important with the recent events in Boston and just seeing what kind of devices and/or chemicals and other compositions that are out there that can be used to make explosives," with Taylorville Police Chief Dave Herpstreith.

Those with the FBI could not comment on the on-going investigation in Boston or what the make-up could have been in those bombs. However, they would say all of the ingredients used during the demo are commercially available.

Chief Herpstreith said the explosions help prove that even small amounts of dangerous chemicals mixed in the right way can cause major damage and injury.

He said, "it's important to come out and see that proves that the mixes and chemicals and compounds that we've seen today actually work and can become an explosive composition. And that proves that theory, drives that theory home for you."

Chief Herpstreith said he and others will take this information back to their respective departments. He said, "They can be on the look-out should they see things on a traffic stop or inside a search warrant at a residents or something like that.

With commonly used products and advances in technology, it's likely only due diligence by law enforcement can prevent another attack.