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Bomb threat prompts courthouse search

POSTED: September 15, 2007 5:05 a.m.
Following a phoned in bomb threat, the Liberty County Courthouse and annex were locked down earlier this week.
At 8:10 a.m. Monday, the Liberty County Sheriff’s department shut down the two government facilities when a male (who was attempting to disguise his voice) called a local 9-1-1 dispatcher and repeatedly claimed there was a bomb in the courthouse, Deputy Chief Keith Moran said  
Since the unknown caller did not specify which courthouse, Moran decided to secure and search both buildings, he said.
But Moran decided not to evacuate the facilities.
“Due to the totality of information, which indicated there were no signs that it was a valid threat, we found sufficient reason not to evacuate,” he said.
Instead of emptying the buildings, the people inside (mostly employees) remained in their offices as the sheriff’s deputies conducted a room-to-room search, Moran said.
Since there is no canine unit in the immediate vicinity, the deputies alerted the employees to look around their offices to help figure out whether they saw any suspicious or unknown packages, Moran said.
“If a more specific location was provided during the call, then it would have made the threat more credible, and an evacuation would have more than likely been initiated,” Emergency Management Director Tom Burriss said
After a thorough search, no bomb was found, which allowed Moran to reopen the courthouses, he said.
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