Multiple agencies respond to suspicious package delivered to Fifth Third Bank
August 15, 2019 - 7:59am Falmouth1
Sam McClanahan, Reporter
A tense and potentially dangerous situation unfolded during the afternoon of August 14 on the south end of Falmouth following a call made indicating a suspicious package being delivered to Fifth Third Bank.
City of Falmouth police chief Shannon Clem along with Sergeant John Riley were the first to arrive at the bank just before 1:30p.m. where they evaluated a large, heavy box that they quickly determined to be out of the ordinary.
"It definitely had a different kind of look to it, so we requested that further assistance would be needed in determining what exactly was inside. In situations like this, you can never be too careful," said Sgt. Riley.
Within a matter of minutes, multiple agencies that included members from the Pendleton County Sheriff's department, Kentucky State Police, Emergency Management, Falmouth Fire Department and local EMT's were on the scene and shortly thereafter the stretch of US-27 from Maple Avenue to Main Street exiting the city limits was closed off to traffic. People who work at nearby businesses were also told to leave the area while the severity of the situation was unknown.
As the different entities gathered to determine a plan of action, emergency management personnel reached out to outside agencies for assistance. Also developing at the same time, Pendleton County schools were set to dismiss following the end of the first day of school. With a section of US-27 still closed for an undetermined amount of time, some delays in afternoon bus schedules occurred.
Around 4 p.m., members from the Hamilton County (OH) Sheriff's department and bomb unit arrived where their experts deployed a bomb disposal robot that entered the bank while being controlled from the outside. The purpose of the robot is to evaluate any and all items in question while preventing the chances of dangers to escalate. Officials determined that they could safely relocate the package and it was taken outside of the building. They would go onto further examine the package and just before 6 p.m. they were able to conclude that the content inside was a can of paint.
Residents in the nearby area who were told earlier to leave their homes were then notified that the area was deemed safe from harm and could return. A suspenseful situation that played out for over four and a half hours thankfully resulted in a calm and relieving ending. Following the findings of the package in question, Chief Clem gave praise to the collaborative effort by all involved in ensuring safety.
"I want to thank everyone involved in helping out in this scary situation. The safety of the residents in the area, the people who work in this area, the school students nearby and everyone else took top priority. You have to be so cautious in times like this and I'm proud of how professional and quickly everyone responded in handling this."