Suspicious packages sent to the Covington offices of the Diocese of Covington have been turned over to the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for investigation, Covington Fire Chief Mark Pierce said.
But that wasn’t until the services of the Cincinnati Fire Department’s Explosive Ordinance Device Unit (i.e. bomb squad) were used to make sure the packages weren’t dangerous, he said.
The packages were delivered to the offices at 1125 Madison Ave., across the street from the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, late this afternoon by a local courier. Given that the packages were neither recognized nor expected, church officials evacuated the building and called 911, Pierce said.
Covington sent a pumper and its battalion chief, Capt. Andy Schultz, to the scene at 4:26 p.m. Covington Police blocked traffic and Schultz called in the bomb squad, Pierce said, since public safety officials have been on heightened alert recently.
“We were just erring on the side of caution,” Pierce said.
Passions across the country have been inflamed since videos of a confrontation involving a high school under the Diocese’s jurisdiction that occurred in Washington D.C. have spread across social media, reportedly resulting in threats of violence on the school, some of its students, and the Diocese.
The bomb squad used a mobile X-ray device to examine the packages and determined they weren’t dangerous, Pierce said. One turned out to have been ordered by a Diocesan official, but others are of unknown origin and intent, he said.
Pierce declined to reveal what was in the packages, but they have been turned over to federal authorities for investigation, he said.