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April 19. 2013 12:07PM

Nashua SWAT team on the scene in Watertown, Mass.

NASHUA -- Up to 40 police officers with the Nashua Police Department are currently on the scene in Watertown, Mass., where a massive manhunt has been underway for the remaining suspect in the Boston bombings.

“They are trained to do this -- this is what we train for. They know how important this is,” Police Chief John Seusing said Friday morning.

The department’s Special Reaction Team, often referred to as its SWAT team, in addition to Nashua’s Hazardous Device Unit, or bomb squad, were both called to assist with the search in Watertown, Mass., according to Seusing.

The tactical SWAT team arrived mid-morning, and the bomb squad was expected to arrive shortly thereafter, said police.

The Nashua Police Department received a call from the Boston Police Department seeking assistance early Friday morning, said the chief.

“We told them, ‘of course, we would do that,’” said Seusing. Overall, between 35 to 40 officers were expected to help with the search in Watertown, Mass., he added.

“They are actually being utilized as we speak,” he said around 11:30 a.m. on Friday, declining to provide specifics as to their assignments.

Seusing said there are probably countless tactical teams assisting with the investigation. He expected that the city’s police force would be asked to help, mostly because it is such a large scale operation and numerous resources are necessary to make it run smoothly.

“At some point, the tactical teams on the scene have to rest, and they need to be relieved,” explained Seusing.

While his officers do not show their fear or apprehension, Seusing said he was sure they were understandably anxious about the assignment. The chief said he was pleased they were called to assist, adding the Boston police and their surrounding communities would do the same if Nashua needed more manpower during an emergency.

Nashua’s SWAT team and Hazardous Device Unit are expected to be teamed up with a Massachusetts regional tactical team that is more familiar with the Watertown, Mass., area, according to Seusing, adding Nashua officers have worked with this same unit in the past.

Meanwhile, the city’s bomb unit was delayed in arriving in Watertown, Mass., because of a suspicious package reported at Nashua’s Social Security Office, located at 175 Amherst St.

Seusing said he believed the bomb unit was already traveling into Massachusetts when it had to turn around and assist with the incident on Amherst Street Friday morning.

“I am told that issue has been resolved, and it appears it was a suspicious backpack. I understand they have located the owner of the pack and it was nothing of any concern,” said Seusing.

However, the Social Security Office will remain closed today.

khoughton@newstote.com


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