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@NCCapitol

State workers sweat out bomb threat after police cuts

Posted August 2, 2011
Updated August 3, 2011

State workers at the Department of Administration and the old Capitol Building in Raleigh were stranded in near-record heat for hours today after a bomb threat was sent to the public email account of Gov. Bev Perdue.

Perdue’s office says they don't yet have details on the threat, reported at about 4:45 p.m. this afternoon. Perdue was not in Raleigh at the time. But it was still convincing enough for the State Capitol police to evacuate employees in those buildings for two and a half hours.

One evacuee, N.C. Human Relations Commission director John Campbell, said on Facebook he and his colleagues were still waiting for bomb dogs to show up at the DOA more than an hour after the threat was called in.

State Capitol Police Sgt. David Richards said it was handled as well as it could have been. Richards said the bomb threat email didn’t reference any particular issue. “It just said there was a bomb in the governor’s office. We weren’t sure which one they meant,” he said. The governor has offices in both the old Capitol and the Department of Administration building.

The State Capitol Police budget was slashed by half in the latest state budget. They no longer maintain a patrol unit in each building, Richards said, but units responding on foot were on the scene almost immediately.

The bomb dogs had to be called in from Raleigh Police Department. They arrived at about 6:00 p.m.

The State Capitol Police used to have its own bomb dog, Dasty, handled by Sgt. Matt Davis. But Davis was laid off due to budget cuts, and Dasty was retired with him.

“The dog died two weeks later,” Richards said. Dasty had cancer, discovered late. “At that point in time, he doesn’t have [state veterinary] insurance to cover the vet bill,” Richards said. "It’s too bad."

But even if the State Capitol police had had Dasty on hand to help, it wouldn’t have been sped up the process much, Richards said, citing the size of the seven-story DOA building. “It would have taken more than one dog, anyway,” he said. “Their nose is only good for about one floor. You’d have to call in other dogs from Fayetteville or Raleigh.”

The two buildings were cleared without incident at 7:15 p.m.

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  • marktroll Aug 11, 2011

    dont forget there are 2 major police forces in the area. to overlook the policing and patrol ability of the wake sheriff, and teh RPD is short sighted. there will be no loss of safety, and many of the patrolmen will transfer to one of the other pd's. the pd withing the legislative complex will have expanded jurisdiction as well, and all of the cuts and reorganization was done in conjunction with the SCPD chief. its prolly hard to understand that restructuring will not compromise public safety, but it wont. and lets not forget how this ALL started...this story wrongly implies that the budget cuts were to blame for the extended period of time that employees were kept in house. completely ridiculous.

  • parkranger72 Aug 9, 2011

    So cutting a budget by 2/3rds and letting go 32 Police Officers with a patrol division, which protected over 70 state buildings and the state employees within Wake County. Not only that, but served the people of NC who visit the downtown area. So, Its ok for our State Legislative to increase their own Police Force budget from 8 Million with 20 Officer, to 11 Million with 40 Officers; Who are only responsible for TWO!!! buildings. State Capitol Police's budget was only 3.5 Million with 80 Officers before the cut. You tell me how this is not a waste of money Mark. To me it feels like the Legislative is taking away from are public safety for their own.

  • marktroll Aug 8, 2011

    "units responding on foot were on the scene almost immediately."

    "Officer Davis was laid off due to budget cuts, and Dasty was retired with him."

    this story wrongly implies that the budget cuts were to blame for the extended period of time that employees were kept in house. completely ridiculous.

  • parkranger72 Aug 5, 2011

    What about the patrol division, they too were cut, over 32 Officers were cut with the dog.

  • marktroll Aug 5, 2011

    The manpower that was cut for these incidents was ONE dog and one dog cop. one dog is good to sweep ONE floor. other teams always come in on these bad occasions. this story wrongly implies that the budget cuts were to blame for the extended period of time that employees were kept in house. completely ridiculous. i know this because i was there.

  • parkranger72 Aug 4, 2011

    OK mark, still if NCSCPD had the manpower that was cut, the building could have been cleared a lot faster. Also, Officer that responded, responded on their own time.

  • marktroll Aug 4, 2011

    lawranger: "If NCSCPD had their K9, it could help to speed things up." NCSCPD had one guy and ONE dog. one dog is good to sweep ONE floor. other teams always come in on these bad occasions. this story wrongly implies that the budget cuts were to blame for the extended period of time that employees were kept in house. completely ridiculous. i know this because i was there.

  • UNCfuturealumi Aug 3, 2011

    Of course the Gov was not in town..she is ALWAYS on vacation..or handling business out of town..duh...

  • jhightjr Aug 3, 2011

    I wrote about a week ago that the Republican Legislators made a mistake in cutting the Capitol Police. See, I told you so. Also last week at the time the Teacher Fellowship Program was scrapped,Senator Andrew Brock found THREE MILLION DOLLARS in the budget to fund increased security around the General Assembly Complex. The money could have been divided among the Capitol Police, The Teacher Fellowship Program,and Security for The General Assembly. I wonder where Senator Brock found this money. The Republican Leadership said all money was allocated.

  • parkranger72 Aug 3, 2011

    marktroll, when it took RPD a hour to get their K9's to the location. It's not State Capitol Police's fault. If NCSCPD had their K9, it could help to speed things up. Also if NCSCPD had the man power, they could have done a faster building sweep. I know this because I was there.

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