Melissa Aubrey

Melissa Aubrey. Charleston Police Department/Provided

Charleston police announced a historic addition to the department's bomb squad this week.

Melissa Aubrey, a five-year veteran of the department, is the first woman to join the unit, according to Charles Francis, a police spokesman.

Aubrey is currently serving as a bomb apprentice with the Explosive Devices Team, as the squad is formally known, until she completes six weeks of training, Francis said.

"This is a great honor for me," Aubrey said in a statement. "I felt a renewed sense of purpose when I was selected to be a member of the Explosive Devices Team."

Although new to the unit, the officer has dealt with explosives in the past.

Aubrey is a 14-year veteran of the Air Force and has served as a certified explosive ordnance disposal technician for the past nine years, Francis said. 

"It takes a unique person to take on this hazardous duty and I believe I was born to do this job," she said.

Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.