Though the device was non-explosive, and in fact not a landmine at all, Sheriff’s deputies closed off the front parking lot of the Parr Boulevard facility just before 8 a.m. and kept visitors and staff from entering the building. Additionally, staff already inside the building were taken outside to side parking lots for safety, according to WCSO Public Information Officer Bob Harmon.
“The device was checked and it was not an explosive device, and I am not exactly sure what it was, but it was not a landmine and it was not an explosive,” Harmon said. “It could have been a part of something, but it wasn’t anything dangerous. Everybody was allowed back in and that was pretty much the end of the situation.”
Harmon said the precautionary strategies ended swiftly and staff re-entered the building in about 10 minutes. He said staff did not feel much effect after the posed ‘threat’ was neutralized.
“It all happened pretty quickly,” Harmon said. “It didn’t affect our ability to get work done and we had most of our patrol guys in the field anyway. It would have been the same as if we had decided to conduct a fire drill, frankly.”
Harmon said the brief morning event was a reminder to those who may come across something suspicious in our region, particularly when hiking in the outer lying areas.
“Personal safety is number one,” Harmon said. “If you do find something suspicious, never touch or move it or do anything to disturb it or anything attached to it. Let the people who are trained to do it touch it.”
If a suspicious case does arrive, Harmon said one thing you should never do is bring it to a more crowded area, such as the police station.
“It is a matter of safety and you risk it going off and you can lose fingers, a hand or worse,” Harmon said. “If you move it into a crowded location then you are putting more people in danger. You put more people in danger and increase the risk when you bring it in.
“If you are concerned about something it is the old saying of better safe than sorry. Our teams know how to properly dispose of it.”