Update: Final Update on Response to City Hall

Portland Police Badge
Portland Police Badge



July 15, 2019 15:09

  

The incident today involving a suspicious package at City Hall generated a lot of questions about the Metropolitan Explosive Disposal Unit and the team's work. This team is comprised of seven partner agencies, including: the Portland Police Bureau, Port of Portland Police Department, Clark County Sheriff's Office, Vancouver Police Department, Gresham Police Department, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The early partnership began in the 1970's in an effort to collaborate and share resources to respond to and address suspicious items that could involve explosives. The team has evolved into the seven agency collaborative that exists today. In 2018, the team handled about 438 missions, which included about 175 suspicious items.

While today's incident involved a suspicious item, there was not an explosive involved. There is an on-going investigation into the package to determine whether or not there a crime. We are unable to release further details about the package, the contents, or the circumstances surrounding it due to the pending investigation.

"Today's response to City Hall on the report of a suspicious package was a coordinated effort between PPB, federal, and local agency partners," said Chief Danielle Outlaw. "We recognize these events can cause public fear and alarm and we want to reassure the public that there is not an identified on-going risk related to this incident. The efforts of those involved in ensuring the safety of the employees and community members frequenting City Hall are appreciated."

The public is reminded that it is incumbent upon all of us to be vigilant for the community's safety. If someone has information about a suspicious item or a threat, they are encouraged to call 911 for an immediate threat or suspicious item or non-emergency dispatch for non-imminent threats. Please do not handle or touch any suspicious item.

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The PIO will be available for media at 3:30 p.m. in front of the Justice Center at Central Precinct at 1111 Southwest 2nd Avenue. City Hall has been re-opened and is back to normal operations.

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The Metropolitan Explosive Disposal Unit has determined there is not a risk to the public due to the package at City Hall. Team members are working on clearing the scene so City Hall can resume normal operations.

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Officers have determined in the interest of public safety, Terry Schrunk Plaza needed to be closed while members of the Explosive Disposal Unit respond to this developing situation.

Specially trained officers from the Explosive Disposal Unit are responding and assessing the package to determine whether or not a risk to the public exists. In the meantime, the evacuation of the building, nearby street closures, and closure of the park were determined to be in the best interest of public safety. The evacuation of the building has been completed.

Media staging is at the Southeast corner of Southwest Jefferson Street and 4th Avenue. The PIO will respond and plans to brief the media at 11:00 a.m.

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On Monday, July 15, 2019, at 9:36 a.m., Central Precinct officers responded to a report of a suspicious package at City Hall, located at 1221 Southwest 4 Avenue. Members of the Explosive Disposal Unit responded to assess the package. Out of an abundance of caution, it was determined City Hall should be evacuated. Officers closed down the streets in the immediate vicinity for safety purposes. City Hall is closed and those with business there will not have access until after it is deemed safe. Updates will be provided as they become available.

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Media Relations:
PPBPIO@portlandoregon.gov
Phone: 503-823-0830
1111 SW 2nd Ave
Portland, OR 97204

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