COUNTY BUILDINGS RE-OPENED AFTER TWO-HOUR BOMB-THREAT EVACUATION

COUNTY BUILDINGS RE-OPENED AFTER TWO-HOUR BOMB-THREAT EVACUATION

Four Doña Ana County buildings – the County Courthouse at 251 W. Amador Ave., the County Annex at 430 S. Main St., the County Public Information Office at 400 S. Main St., and the County Manager’s Complex at 180 W. Amador Ave. – were re-opened at 11:10 a.m. after being evacuated since mid-morning due to bomb threats.

The first threat was called in at about 9 a.m. to the state’s Juvenile Probation Office, whose local headquarters are in the County Courthouse. An unidentified male caller made the threat and hung up. A JPO supervisor reported the threat to 911 and also notified county management. The Courthouse was evacuated within minutes.

Las Cruces Police responded to the scene while the Courthouse was being evacuated. After consultation with county staff and a JPO supervisor, it was determined that the County Annex – which also houses JPO offices – also should be evacuated. That procedure was completed by about 9:20 a.m., and occupants of surrounding buildings also were notified. The county’s Public Information Office was evacuated, and non-critical personnel from the Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority on Lohman Avenue were evacuated.

Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputies took control of the situation at about 10 a.m., and bomb-sniffing dogs began being led through all the affected buildings. Las Cruces Police provided critical traffic support and other support as needed, including bringing their bomb-sniffing dogs to the scene. During the investigation and site inspection, traffic was rerouted along Amador, Lohman, Main and Alameda, surrounding the affected buildings.

At about 10:40, a second call was received at the County Manager’s Complex. Again, an unidentified male called in the threat and hung up. That building was then evacuated.

All the affected buildings were declared clear by the Sheriff’s Department and LCPD shortly after 11 a.m., and employees and the public were allowed to re-enter the facilities.

The county will cooperate with the investigation into the bomb threats and will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any individual or group found to be responsible.

For more information, call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (505) 647-7229. Residents calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request extension 7229.