New Castle News

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June 18, 2013

Jail receives bomb threat

NEW CASTLE — The Lawrence County jail received a bomb threat over the weekend.

New Castle police reported a call was received at 7:40 p.m. Saturday from a man who said he “was coming up to blow up the jail.”

David Gettings, Lawrence County Prison Board chairman, said guards and personnel took all precautions.

“They called the 911 center and the New Castle Police Department,” he said. “We canceled visitation at the jail and put on extra patrols. We put the jail in a lockdown mode.”

Officials also checked with Comcast, the jail’s phone system provider, in efforts to trace the call.

“We were told the call came from a private number and it could not be traced back,” Gettings said.

All precautions were taken to beef up security at the facility over the weekend, he added.

“We remain on heightened alert today, but we’ve relaxed some of the precautions and restored visitation,” he said Monday.

Gettings said the threat “might have been a crank call, but we take all of these threats seriously.”

Because the caller threatened that he “would come up” to blow up the jail, officials opted not to evacuate the facility.

“But that’s why we suspended visitation,” he said. “We don’t want someone to come in with something that could jeopardize the safety and security of our inmates and staff.”

Gettings said the jail currently houses more than 240 inmates.

He noted the staff has a contingency plan to be followed if an emergency, including a bomb threat, occurs, but said he would not make it known.

“We believe we were secure and that is why we went into a lockdown mode.”

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