The area around the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office and county jail in downtown Bangor was blocked off for more than an hour Tuesday morning after a man entered the lobby of the building and left behind two packages that police initially worried might be explosives.
After the packages were reported a little after 10 a.m., a bomb squad from the Bangor Police Department inspected the building, determined they were not dangerous and removed them, Sgt. Wade Betters said.
The neighboring building that includes the Bangor post office was evacuated and closed as police investigated the bomb scare, according to a spokesman for the United States Postal Service, but it had reopened by early in the afternoon.
The Bangor Police Department sent its bomb squad to inspect the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office and jail — which share the same building at 85 Hammond Street — after the man dropped off the two packages and quickly left the building in a “suspicious” manner, Betters said.
By noon, police had finished sweeping the building and removed yellow caution tape they had hung at the front of the Hammond Street parking area that has parking spaces for the post office, jail and sheriff’s office.
There were some names on the packages left in the building’s lobby, but Betters declined to describe them in great detail. Afterward, police were continuing to inspect them and trying to identify the man who left them. There is no danger to the public, according to Betters.
During the sweep, the Bangor Police Department bomb squad parked a white trailer that is meant to transport potentially explosive devices next to the jail, and an officer wearing an army green protective suit made multiple trips inside.
The team used a device with X-ray technology to initially evaluate the suspicious packages, helping determine that they weren’t explosives, Betters said. The bomb squad usually holds about two trainings a month, including one that happened to be scheduled for Tuesday, according to Betters.
Steve Doherty, a regional spokesman for the USPS, said police contacted the local postmaster Tuesday morning about the bomb threat at the sheriff’s office.
As a result, the nearby building at 73 Hammond St. that contains the post office and the Penobscot County Emergency Management Agency was evacuated. The post office had reopened by 1:45 p.m.
The sheriff’s office and jail moved some staff and inmates during the investigation, said Sheriff Troy Morton.