As await the results of tests analyzing the white powder found in an envelope left in the Geographic Information Systems section of the Information Technology Department last week, officials are evaluating the security of the entire building.
Meanwhile, Boris Hutorin, the IT director, said it was closing time at when GIS coordinator Greg Sullivan with another employee alerted staff to the envelope. "He was screaming that something came out of the envelope and police said 'to evacuate' the ground offices that are the nerve center of Town Hall.
For more than 5 hours Thursday, crews from Greenwich Police, the , the Stamford Police Bomb Squad, the Connectricut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Health Department and the FBI remained at the scene, gathering evidence, cleaning the area and decontaminating the Greenwich police officer who came in contact with the envelope. (He was evaluated at and released, and has since returned to duty, according to Greenwich Police Chief James Heavey.)
Hutorin said it appeared the envelope had been left in the GIS department and had not been processed or delivered by mail. "It was not something that you would want to look to see here or to be next to," Hoturin added.
Heavey said that he anticipates that at some time Tuesday, the town will get the all clear sign from the state health department and reopen the GIS office which remained off limits Monday, at some point Tuesday.
Heavey said the department is relying upon the state agency to conduct a battery of tests—all of which so far "have come back negative" for hazardous materials. He would not discuss what investigators thought the white powder could be.
"It's an active investigation. I am hopeful (we will) be able to use a number of clue to be able to make an arrest. It was a dangerous act and we will puruse the most serious charges for doing something dangerous in a town building," Heavey added.
Hutorin said that on Friday, April 27, his staff worked remotely so that t the town's digital infrastructure continued functioning. However, the public was unable to physically visit the office and obtain hard copies of maps. The GIS office remained closed to the public on April 30.
Both the GIS office and the IT department are accessible from the gound floor hallway opposite a town employee lounge. Entry to that part of the IT department was sealed off with yellow police warning tape sealing the door jambs. And IT employees could not access the GIS office as they usually would from the IT department back office.
Heavey said the incident highlighted the need to evaluate security and access to Town Hall.
"We have personnel (from within the GPD) who are doing a physical security evaluation, a review of procedural best practices," Heavey said. He said that there could be changes in access procedures as well as installation of "hardware" to enhance security of the building that is used from 7 a.m. until well after midnight for governmental and private organizations' meetings.
"There are people in there all the time," Heavey said.
"There is a cost involved and you have to weight the risks against the costs. There may be smaller things we can do including retraining town employees on who they allow into the building" via entrances accessible only by personal security cards.
Patch will provide updates as they become available.