Offices Remain Closed as Investigation of Greenwich Haz Mat Incident Continues

Two town hall departments remain off limits in wake of Thursday incident.

Two town hall offices are to remain off limits to the public and to employees as local, state and federal investigators continue their efforts to determine who left last Thursday.

First Selectman Peter Tesei said that tests are continuing to determine nature of the substance that was found in an envelope in the ground floor offices of the town's IT and GIS offices about 4 p.m. April 26. The discovery led to a full-scale response by the Greenwich Fire Department including its Special Operations Unit, the Stamford Police Bomb Squad, the Connecticut Department of Emergency and Environmental Protection, and the FBI.

"Several tests came back negative" for hazardous materials, said Tesei. "It is still an active criminal investigation so that we can identify and arrest the person who intentionally disrupted operations of those departments," he added. Officials are awaiting the results of additional tests in hopes of identifying the substance.

He said that the GIS and IT offices will remain closed through at least today. However, 9 employees in those departments will be able to work remotely, Tesei said. A Greenwich Police officer was stationed outside the office Friday warding off visitors seeking to obtain copies of maps from the GIS office.

Tesei also said that the incident—which sent one Greenwich Police officer to Greenwich Hospital for evaluation after he was decontaminated at the scene—is prompting a review of security and access to the building. He said police officials will review whether there should be surveillance cameras to monitor who enters the Field Point Road building or a more strict access policy.

Tesei said that officials may review the policies used by the city of Stamford where all visitors must sign in at security check point and be issued visitors badges before entering the Stamford Government Center. He acknowledged that a more stringent policy could be cumbersome given the number of public agencies and private organizations that use Greenwich Town Hall meeting facilities.

Dozens of emergency personnel investigated throughout the evening on April 26, prompting the evacuation of the entire ground floor of town hall. However, several meetings continued as planned throughout the remainder of the building with employees who were working in other town hall offices contacting the media seeking information.

One town hall employee said he was told "it's a drill" when he asked emergency personnel what was happening.

Crews remained on the scene for about 5 1/2 hours.


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