‘Suspicious package’ shuts down Public Safety Building

Berkeley Police Department. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Berkeley Police Department. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Berkeley authorities were on alert Wednesday afternoon after a suspicious package appeared at the Public Safety Building, which houses the police and fire departments, authorities said.

The Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Team and the Police Department’s Bomb Squad were sent to investigate the package, said Deputy Fire Chief Donna McCracken, at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

A “shelter in place” order was put into effect for building occupants when the package was discovered shortly before 4:20 p.m.

Authorities shut down the sidewalk and a southbound traffic lane on Martin Luther King Jr. Way from Addison Street down to Allston Way during the investigation. One lane of southbound traffic remained open for vehicles. 


McCracken said authorities ultimately determined that a citizen had brought the package and left it at the building after he said it had been delivered to his home.

Authorities later determined the contents to “likely be drugs,” McCracken said.

At about 4:50 p.m. authorities lifted the shelter in place order, and reopened sidewalk and vehicular traffic, she said.

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