Followup: Details About Bainbridge Police’s Newest Detector

The bomb scare that shut down Winslow Way near the Bainbridge ferry terminal Monday afternoon was caused by police fears that the suspicious item had tested positive for Nitroglycerin.

And how did Bainbridge police figure that out?

It wasn’t a bomb-sniffing dog, as we’re used to seeing at the area’s ferry terminals. It was a detection made by the “hardened mobile trace detector,” which the department obtained through a grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security. The detector came back positive twice for the presence of both nitroglycerin, an explosive often found in dynamite and triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, which is another explosive.

Bainbridge police is one of the few agencies in the state that have one, Commander Sue Shultz points out, and they’re happy to share it with other local agencies. I found a photo of one at

Shultz said that it could be used in a chemical spill, and it has already been used to detect narcotics. She believes Monday’s scare was the first time it has been used to detect explosives.

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