Reason For Poughkeepsie Galleria Evacuation Revealed
Police have revealed why the Poughkeepsie Galleria was suddenly evacuated this week.
On Sunday afternoon, just before 3 p.m., the Poughkeepsie Galleria was evacuated by the Town of Poughkeepsie Police and mall staff. No reason for the evacuation was given, but employees and shoppers were told that there was "no threat to the public".
It turns out that that wasn't entirely true. Police are now saying they shut down the mall to deal with a very specific threat.
Unanswered Questions Frustrate Employees and Shoppers
After customers and employees were forced out of the mall, many took to social media to express their concern for being kept in the dark. Aside from being told that there was an active investigation going on, no other details were released to the public.
We reached out to the Poughkeepsie Galleria on Sunday and they have still not replied to multiple requests for comment. The Town of Poughkeepsie Police, however, have just released a statement that sheds more light on the cause of the emergency evacuation.
Why the Poughkeepsie Galleria was Evacuated
According to the Town of Poughkeepsie Police, the mall was evacuated due to a bomb threat.
Police say the City of Poughkeepsie Police received a call at 1:49 p.m. that "bombs were placed at the Poughkeepsie Galleria." This information differs from the Town of Poughkeepsie Police's original statement just before 3 p.m. that there was "no threat to the public". Many shoppers remained at the entrances to the mall and huddled in the covered parking area to shield themselves from the rain. We did not see a large police presence aside from a few vehicles. No officers were seen asking anyone to disperse from the areas immediately around the entrances of the mall.
Law enforcement personnel we spoke with say it's uncommon to officially declare a situation like this "not a threat to the public" until a full investigation is complete. It's unclear if the police had a good reason to consider that the call about the bomb was not credible, therefore dismissing it as a hoax before the investigation was concluded. When we called the Town of Poughkeepsie Police on Monday we were told that we would have to wait for the official press release to receive any further information.
Police now say K9 teams were employed to conduct a full sweep of the building after the evacuation. According to the Town of Poughkeepsie Police, their investigation took until 6:30 p.m. when it was finally determined that no threats were found.
Shoppers Advised That The Mall is Now Safe
According to the Town of Poughkeepsie Police, the mall is considered safe for employees and shoppers.
There is no threat to the public or the Poughkeepsie Galleria at this time. The investigation is continuing and the Department will release additional information as it becomes available.
We will follow and update this story as more information is released.
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