Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office evacuates Courthouse after receiving threats
The Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office evacuated the Virginia Beach Courthouse Tuesday morning due to several threats made against the building via the City's 911 system.
The VBSO Emergency Response Team (ERT) and K9 Unit investigated with assistance from the Virginia Beach Police Department, Norfolk Police Department, Virginia State Police and Norfolk FBI and cleared the building. No explosive devices nor any other public safety threats were located.
The VBSO evacuated the building at 10:43 a.m. after receiving reports that several threats regarding possible explosives and firearms had been called into 911. The threats were credible, but ultimately unsubstantiated, and the ERT declared the building safe to reenter by 12:20 p.m.
The Courthouse will reopen to the public on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Any questions regarding rescheduling of cases should be directed to the presiding court clerk's office.
“When it comes to the safety of the public, we take no chances," said Undersheriff Brian Struzzieri. "We responded quickly to these threats to ensure the safety of everyone inside the Virginia Beach Courthouse. I'm grateful that they were ultimately unsubstantiated and that we were able to quickly sweep and clear the building. This is why we train and why we are always ready. Thank you to the public for their cooperation and to our public safety partners for helping bring this incident to a swift and safe conclusion."
The Virginia Beach Courthouse is one of the most heavily trafficked public buildings in the city, with hundreds of people coming and going every day. The VBSO is responsible for the security of the building and conducts thorough security checks of patrons as they enter, in addition to searching the building using its explosive-detecting K9 every day. The Virginia Beach Police Department will be the lead agency for investigating the source of the threats called into 911.
Any questions or requests for additional information from the news media may be directed to Public Information Officer Toni Guagenti at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-385-8446 or Strategic Communications Consultant Kathy Hieatt at email@example.com.