UPDATE: City Parks to Re-Open tomorrow following thorough investigation into report of suspicious object at City Park
UPDATE: 8:30 PM
BUCKHANNON, WV: All City Parks will be open tomorrow, Friday, July 12, following investigations by the Buckhannon Police Department, State Police Bomb Unit and collaborating agencies into the suspicious device reported to be found at City Park.
Statement from Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory, 8:00 p.m.:
The State Police Bomb unit inspected the device and advised that it was a World War II era grenade, but did not feel that it was live. As a precaution, they did recover the grenade and will be disposing of it per their protocols.
We also met with an ATF agent who did a follow-up investigation. As for the device itself, there is no indication of criminal intent at this time.
Out of an abundance of caution, the FBI Police responded with a K-9 and they swept through the city parks and cleared each area. The parks have since been reopened.
In addition to the State Police, ATF and FBI Police, we were also assisted by the Buckhannon Fire Dept., VIPS, Buckhannon Streets & Parks Department, Upshur Comm Center, and Upshur Office of Emergency Management.
UPDATE: 3:33 PM
City Park, Fred Brooks, and North Buckhannon Riverfront Park remain closed. All other parks are now open.
3:19 p.m., July 11, 2019
CITY ALERT: ALL CITY PARKS ARE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. AT ABOUT 2:30 PM THIS AFTERNOON A SUSPICIOUS DEVICE FOUND AT BUCKHANNON CITY PARK WAS REPORTED TO THE BUCKHANNON POLICE DEPARTMENT. UPON VISUAL INSPECTION, IT APPEARED IT COULD BE AN EXPLOSIVE DEVICE. IN RESPONSE, THE AREA HAS BEEN SECURED AND THE STATE POLICE BOMB DISPOSAL UNIT HAS BEEN CALLED IN FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION. AS A MEASURE OF CAUTION, THE PARKS ARE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
CALL 911 if you see suspicious activity or objects in the area.
Chief Matt Gregory Statement:
At about 2:30 pm, a lady came into the police department and said that while at the City Park her dog found ‘a grenade’ and she recovered the device from the dog and was concerned about it. The Buckhannon Police Department responded to the scene for investigation and upon visual inspection it appeared to be, just by appearance, it looked real enough (to warrant further precautionary measures). In response to that (Buckhannon Police Dept. and assisting agencies) secured the area and contacted the state police bomb disposal unit to respond to the device itself and assist with the furtherance of this investigation. As a precaution, emergency responders are doing a sweep of the parks to see if there is anything additional. We are working with the West Virginia State Police Bomb Disposal Unit, Buckhannon Streets & Parks Department, Buckhannon Fire Department, Upshur County Com Center, and Office of Emergency Management. All parks will remain closed until further notice.
Media: Callie Cronin-Sams, firstname.lastname@example.org or (304) 472-1651 ext. 1052