It was just about 4:00 on April 26 when the GIS coordinator Greg Sullivan and a colleague began spreading the word that employees should evacuated. A staffer had found an envelope with white powder inside while cleaning up. She called the police, who made the decision to evacuate. The letter had apparently been “dropped off” at the GIS area of the Greenwich, CT Information Technology Department and not been routed from the mail room.
The incident prompted responses from the Greenwich Police, the Greenwich Fire Department, the Stamford Police Bomb Squad, the Connectricut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Health Department and the FBI. They were responsible for both gathering evidence and cleaning the area so that workers could return confident they would be safe.
The ground floor of Town Hall, which houses the department was closed to all on Friday April 27 and Monday April 28. The IT department worked remotely while investigation and clean up continued. First Selectman Peter Tesei suggested the town explore how accessible the area is during work and non-work hours and to perhaps enhance security.
By Tuesday May 1, the ground floor of Town Hall was open again and IT an GIS staff were back at their desks. State Department of Public Health tests showed no harmful substances. Details on exactly what the substance was were not shared; the investigation continues.
Greenwich is mostly known in GIS circles for the long running court battle (2001-2001) with a consultant regarding sharing its mapping data. In 2007 the town put the data online. (APB coverage)