Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Portland Bomb Scare

I was sitting at work minding my own business when this email was sent out...

Breaking News From KATU: Please use extra caution when outside of our building and note road closures and MAX shutdown.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Bomb-sniffing dogs being used for a TOPOFF exercise in northeast Portland on Thursday detected the real thing, prompting police to cordon off a hotel, close nearby streets and shut down the MAX.

According to Brian Schmautz with the Portland Police Bureau, as officials were doing a sweep of the Doubletree Hotel located near the Lloyd Center, bomb-sniffing dogs got a hit on a vehicle in the vicinity.

There is currently a heavy police presence in the area while police investigate. The TOPOFF exercise scheduled to take place at the hotel has been canceled.

Nearby Benson High School is in lock-out mode and will be for the duration of the school day. Since the MAX is shut down, school buses will be transporting students who normally take a train home to alternate MAX platforms away from the Lloyd Center area.

Naturally I freaked out and hid under my desk whimpering like a wee little lass. The hotel in question was just across the freeway and if it blew up there would probably be hardly anything that happened to my place of work. So I sat there all atwitter with fear. Of course within moments of reading this email I had turned it into a joke and kept asking people if they wanted to go to the Lloyd Center to go shopping. No one did.... Then this email came out a few hours later.

From KATU: Please find an update to the earlier news story.
.........Police immediately cordoned off the area so they could investigate. They later discovered that the dogs had detected traces of explosives in police and military vehicles that were involved in the exercise that was being staged. The bomb residue is something common in those type of vehicles.

Crews are working to give the all clear. Meanwhile, MAX service remains shut down between the Rose Quarter and the Hollywood District. TriMet is offering bus service to get people around.

So in case you missed it.... The cops freaked out because during an exercise to train dogs to find bombs, the dogs found something that smelled like a bomb. They naturally barricaded the place stopped traffic from going through there, messed up a bunch of people's commutes especially the people that use mass transit. Then after a few hours of intense investigation they deduced that the dogs could smell the bomb residue in the officers cars....

I wonder if this was their official statement: "Ladies and Gentlemen of Portland. Thank you for you concern about the 'bomb' but it was actually are crack team of professionals that transport bombs that made the dogs smell a bomb. Yes, what we are saying is that our test to see if our dogs were any good proved that the dogs were indeed excellent but their human counterparts are incompetent. We have decided to rethink giving badges out with every tenth coffee bought at the downtown coffee shop near the precinct as it might not have been our best move. Furthermore our bomb squad is hiring.... if you are actually almost as smart as a dog we want you."

Portland PD rocks! WOO!!!

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