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Bomb threat shuts down post office in Buckley

By Jessica Keller, The Courier-Herald

Somebody's lunch, most likely forgotten, created high tension and closed Buckley's post office for almost three hours Friday afternoon.

A customer notified post office staff of a suspicious package wrapped in a plastic bag at about 11:30 a.m., which nobody was able to claim, sparking an investigation as to the package's contents. The package was later found to contain food.

The package led to the evacuation and temporary closure of the post office, as well as the cordoning off of River Avenue from Mason to Jefferson avenues, as law enforcement and a postal inspector were called in.

"In this day and age, it's better to be safe than sorry," said Buckley Postmaster Teri Wickham.

While any unidentified package would be cause for sufficient concern, the package sparked even more tension because earlier in the week, the evening of April 8, Buckley police responded to a bomb threat written on the side of a building.

A citizen found the message, which Buckley Police Sgt. Tim Personius said simply stated "Bomb in the post office," written on the wall of a portable restroom on the Foothills Trail.

Personius, who was commanding officer at Friday's scene, said Buckley police scoured the area and nearby trash cans looking for any bomb device, but none was found.

Personius said Buckley police and post office officials were satisfied at the time the threat was false.

"I think it was teenagers," Personius said. "I think it was a crank."

But after the package was found Friday, postal officials and police were not about to dismiss anything. "You have to be careful," Personius said.

During the post office closure Friday, Personius said he didn't anticipate the package to contain a bomb or be linked to terrorists.

"I think it was a package somebody left accidentally, it happens," he said. "But, you know, you got to take the precautions."

Prior to the post office reopening, Wickham said she was grateful to Buckley police and everybody who helped retain order at the scene.

"It was a little tense for awhile, but it's a relief it turned out to be nothing," she said.

Jessica Keller can be reached at jkeller@courierherald.com

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