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Local authorities ready for suspicious packages

Posted: 5:01 PM, Oct 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-25 21:01:56Z

CINCINNATI -- Companies around Greater Cincinnati were double-checking their mailroom procedures this week after numerous suspected pipe bombs were sent to people critical of the president.

Law enforcement officials said there's no credible threat in the region, but they're monitoring things very carefully.

Authorities have intercepted at least 10 of the suspicious packages this week, the Associated Press reported. But nobody has said whether they're actually capable of detonating.

The very possibility that they could is why the people at the Greater Cincinnati Fusion Center are in constant contact with the other 78 fusion centers across the country.

Major Mike Hartzler of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office heads the effort.

"There are no credible threats to our area, our region, that we're aware of at this time," he said.

But that doesn't mean people should let their guard down.

"If you see something that is out of place that you find suspicious, just step away from it, don't touch it, and notify the authorities," Hartzler said.

The devices were sent to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, CNN's New York office, former Vice President Joe Biden, actor Robert De Niro and others who have criticized President Donald Trump.

The president has vowed to find out who's responsible.

"Any acts or threats of political violence are an attack on our democracy itself," he said.

Trump also pointed a finger at the news media.

"The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility," he said.

No matter the motive, Hartzler is concerned about more devices being sent.

"We don't know at this point whether they're viable ... We have to be careful and cautious because there may be copycat type of events," he said.

Law enforcers are united behind just one sentiment now.

"We want it to stop. This is out of place in this country," Hartzler said. "There's no call for this type of behavior. The mob mentalities and this type of behavior is just not acceptable."

So what should you do if you see a suspicious package? Experts said you should call the police — they'll call the bomb squad — and let the professionals handle the situation.

Moving or jiggling a bomb could set it off.

"You shouldn't pick up the package," Hartzler said. "You should let it stay where it is and move out of that room, and notify the police."