Local News

Bomb Threat Forces Evacuation Of Raleigh Police Department

Posted March 26, 2003 11:50 a.m. EST

— The Raleigh Police Department and adjoining Municipal Building were evacuated for about three hours Wednesday morning after a bomb threat was called in.

As employees from both buildings watched from a park across the street, police led in two bomb-sniffing dogs to search the buildings.

The threat proved nothing more than a big inconvience. But police said that, in the climate of the world today, they had to take the threat seriously.

"Before employees leave, they take their belongings with them," said Raleigh police Capt. Michael Teem. "They look to see if there's anything unusual. Building maintenance does a quick sweep of the common areas. Then the dogs come in behind that to check common areas to see if they can detect any materials or anything out of place that would indicate there's a bomb in the building."

The report came into the 911 center at 9 a.m., forcing hundreds of workers out of their offices. Everyone was allowed back in about noon.

"I don't really know if the direct intent of this particular person was a threat, " said city employee Willistine Hedgepath. "But with all the things going on, I'm sure everyone is on heightened security, and it's nice to know they they took extra time to make sure everything was in order."

The next part of the investigation is to find out who made the call. Police said the call was made from a cell phone, which makes it hard to trace.