Bomb scare closes Kitsap Courthouse

A bomb scare at the Kitsap County Courthouse last Friday ended uneventfully when it was determined the suspected package contained court documents from an old homicide case.

The package was addressed to Prosecutor Russ Hauge. It was delivered through the the U.S. Mail and was in the prosecutor’s office for several hours before staff noticed and took action.

County officials called the Port Orchard Police, which borrowed the Sheriff’s X-ray equipment. When the scan was inconclusive the building was evacuated.

The Board of Commissioners was conducting a budget meeting at the time of the evacuation. The incident necessitated the postponement of Hauge’s budget presentation.

Sent from Robert Garry Carter at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center, the package contained documents wrapped in wire. This made identification of the contents difficult.

Employees were allowed to return to their offices at around 5:30 p.m., while many went home. Hourly employees who were unable to clock out were paid until 5.

Commissioner Patty Lent said she was pleased by the employee’s response to the warning and called the incident “a good drill.”

However, she suggested the establishment of a “telephone tree” to keep employees informed during future such events.

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