Big Bend Bomb Squad Responds to Suspicious Package at Capitol, Contents Not Explosive

he Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) Capitol Police today investigated a suspicious package that arrived via mail delivery to a service drive on the west side of the Capitol. The package was discovered between 3:30 and 4:00 p.m. through the security screening process in place. The package was deemed suspicious and the Big Bend Bomb Squad responded.

Shortly after 5 p.m., Capitol Police transmitted an e-mail alert to Capitol employees, notifying them of the package.

An initial assessment by the Squad could not determine the contents of the package. As a safety precaution, Capitol Police officers evacuated four levels of the Capitol prior to opening the package. The package was opened by the Big Bend Bomb Squad in accordance with established protocols at approximately 7:00 p.m. The contents were plastic shopping bags and were not explosive.

At approximately 7:30 p.m., a second e-mail was transmitted to Capitol employees advising that the situation had been handled without incident, and employees could re-enter the building and resume normal activities.

“The Big Bend Bomb Squad responded swiftly and effectively which is exactly what we train and practice to do,” said Capitol Police Director Dennis Bustle. “The safety and security of the Capitol employees and visitors is our top priority, and we’ll continue to operate with the highest levels of precaution.”

The Big Bend Bomb Squad includes the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Tallahassee Police Department, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and FDLE’s Capitol Police. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also sent an investigator to provide on scene assistance.

The Capitol Police e-mail alert system was implemented in June of 2007 to communicate quickly to employees and visitors to the Capitol and Capital Circle Office Center in emergency situations.

For more information, contact:

Heather Smith or Kristen Perezluha
FDLE Public Information Office
(850) 410-7001