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Archive for Friday, September 14, 2001

Bomb threat delays City Hall service

September 14, 2001

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— A memorial prayer service to honor the victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks was postponed Thursday after a bomb threat was received at Kansas City Hall.

City Hall was evacuated after the bomb threat came in, and the service was set for next week.

A small, unplanned service took place on the building's front steps despite the threat.

Police spokesman Rick McLaughlin did not know what time the threat came in, or who took the call. He said the decision to postpone the service was made about 11:30 a.m. after a meeting with Mayor Kay Barnes, Police Chief Rick Easley and Fire Chief Smoky Dyer.

"In the interest of safety, we didn't want to gather a crowd in front of the building," McLaughlin said. "Hopefully and probably it's a false threat, but in these times, we could not take a chance."

Barnes said the decision to postpone the service was made in part because emergency personnel, including bomb-sniffing dogs, have been stretched thin by other security measures needed after Tuesday's attack.

"We regret having to make that decision, but under the circumstances it's the appropriate decision," Barnes said. "It is unlikely that there is a problem, but it is the responsible thing to do."

Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Brooks said city council members were in a budget meeting when they were told about the bomb threat.

"This is hectic," Brooks said. "It tests the minds of men and women, everything that has happened since Tuesday. ... You can say it's a kook, but you can't take a chance because it's the kooks that caused all this in the first place."

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