I Just Wanted To Say...

What is your problem?

Name:
Location: Georgia, United States

I am me. More than I was, less than I will be. This is difficult. Facts-female, southern, mother and grandmother. Abstract-a Christian, a loner, intelligent, somewhat arrogant, impatient with stupidity, an unusual sense of humor.

5/09/2005

Bomb Threat

There was a bomb threat called into the courthouse today about 9:15am. The performance by the people responsible for our security was less than sterling.
One of the clerks in the Superior Court Clerk's Office received a recorded message stating that there was a bomb in the courthouse and it would go off 22 minutes after the call. It took the Sheriff's department almost 10 minutes to decide whether or not to evacuate.
We are all hurried outside. There we were, out in front of the building in the parking lots. The judges, their staffs, all standing out in the open.
I was talking to Judge B. I didn't think much about it until I noticed one of the defendants go to his car and get a gym bag out and walk back to a spot close to us. I looked at Judge B and said, "I'm not sure this is a good place for me to be." He asked me what I meant. I said, "Next to you." He is a man with a good sense of humor so he figured out what I meant and laughed.
But after Judge Barnes of Fulton Co. was killed, we have all been more aware of the real potential for trouble and it struck both of us that it was a bad idea for the judges and their staffs to be standing out in front with the general public. It also struck me as a bad idea to have people standing in parking lots. If someone were truly determined to explode a device and harm people, this would be the way to do it. Call in a threat, see where the people congregated and then fix a car bomb, park it in the lot and call in another threat. Lots and lots of dead and injured people. But what do I know, right?
We were finally allowed to go back in after more than an hour outside. Thankfully, it was a pleasant day and early enough in the morning to still be cool.
There are some things that are off about the whole incident. Whoever set it up knew a great deal about how things work in the courthouse. The call was a recording. It was sent through two exchanges in the court house phone system, which meant the number it was called from didn't show up on the caller ID that all our phones are hooked up to. The call was routed to one of the few desks in the courthouse where there is a live person from 8:00am to 5:00pm. Emergency personnel weren't called and no other law enforcement agencies were notified by the Sheriff's department. No BRS(bomb removal squad) personnel were called in. Only sheriff's deputies went in to search the building and no sheriff's department personnel who were in the building right behind us were evacuated.
My, my, how very odd!

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