Public Safety Building shuts down for bomb squad to investigate suspicious package

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Berkeley Fire Department officials and a bomb squad responded to a suspicious package Wednesday afternoon at the Public Safety Building, resulting in the building’s temporary closure.

A Berkeley resident brought the package to the building after finding it addressed to their residence with incorrect postage and discovering an unidentified liquid inside, according to BFD interim Deputy Fire Chief Donna McCracken. The Hazardous Materials Team and the Berkeley Police Department’s Bomb Squad were dispatched about 3:30 p.m., McCracken said.

The response teams determined the package was not explosive, according to BPD officer Sean Tinney. He said bomb technicians later determined the substance in the package was hash oil, or concentrated cannabis extract.

The Public Safety Building at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way serves as the main hub for calls to city police and fire departments, and it also houses the city jail.

After the package’s discovery, employees were instructed to shelter in place, and a public sidewalk in front of the building was temporarily closed. The building was re-opened and resumed operation by 4:45 p.m, according to Tinney.

“If there are indications that the package is suspicious … they should leave it in place and call 911,” Tinney said.

Alexander Barreira is the university news editor. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @abarreira_dc.