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      Bomb squad trains in Wetzel Hall for the last time

      Training exercises also took place at Wetzel Hall in September 2011

      Western Illinois University, working with the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State , is serving as a host site this week for a variety of training exercises for specially-trained explosives canines, handlers and technicians.

      "Last year, we had 250 calls for service," Bomb Technician Chris Palmer said.

      That's a pretty active bomb squad and Palmer says the calls are averaging about the same this year.

      Seven bomb technicians were on hand Tuesday carefully monitoring rooms of WIU's old Wetzel Hall. Also on duty were Beck and Cosmo, the team's two specially-trained canines.

      "We had each bomb technician make a device so we could put it up in one of the unused rooms. Then we have the tech's censor devices out and have someone else take the x-ray and determine what kind of device it is," Palmer said.

      The closed training exercises began Monday afternoon and will continue into Thursday in Wetzel Hall, which closed in May 2010. It's slated for demolition this summer. The squad trained in Wetzel Hall twice before, the most recent in September 2011. Click here for that original story.

      Have you seen the training take place on the WIU campus? Share your story below or on our Facebook page here.