A suspicious package caused the evacuation of the Hope RCMP office on Jan. 31, and required the service of the explosive disposal unit.
Cpl. Mike Rail of the Upper Fraser Valley RCMP says the “alarm was triggered” early in the afternoon, when a man brought a package to the detachment for disposal. He had found the package in a storage locker, and it was wrapped in layers of plastic and packing tape.
The RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) dismantled the package later the same afternoon. In the end, it turned out to be an artifact from the Second World War — a field phone battery.
“The detachment was immediately evacuated and closed to the public with the area cordoned off while we determined the content of the package,” says Staff Sergeant Karol Rehdner of Hope RCMP. “The safety of citizens and our staff was a priority during the incident.”
When they closed the Hope detachment, the RCMP sent out a tweet without explaining the closure.
“For precautionary safety reasons the Hope RCMP detachment is closed to the public for the remainder of the working day,” the tweet announced. “Detachment employees are safe and there is no danger to the general public. Police officers in Hope remain on duty to respond to calls for service.”
For precautionary safety reasons the Hope RCMP detachment is closed to the public for the remainder of the working day. Detachment employees are safe and there is no danger to the general public. Police officers in Hope remain on duty to respond to calls for service.
— Upper Fraser Valley RCMP (@UFVRD_RCMP) January 31, 2020
Rehdner says there never any certainty with explosive devices, such as old batteries.
“Fortunately the contents were not explosive, however simply touching an explosive device may cause a detonation,” Rehdner says.
The battery is a WH FF33 Field Telephone Battery, made by the Hamburger Batterie-Fabrik company. The battery brought to the RCMP detachment had German writing and even a Nazi symbol on it.
The RCMP are using the event as a reminder to everyone not to touch or convey an article which appears to be out of the ordinary, and to not bring these items to RCMP offices. Instead, they suggest contacting local police to come to you.
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