Anthrax scare at Florida police station

The police department in Clermont, Florida, was evacuated at 2 p.m. on November 9 after a man carrying an envelope of white powder entered the building.

Although the powder turned out to be a substance that was used to keep the two sides of envelopes from sticking together, it managed to disrupt the department for at least an hour, according to

According to Clermont Captain John Johnson, the man, Kenneth Harrison, had just come from the post office after checking his mail. Before pulling his retirement check out of the envelope, Harrison noticed that there was powder falling from it.

“It was just something I saw that seemed important enough to report,” Harrison, a Minneola, Florida, resident, said, according to

After noticing the powder, Harrison immediately placed the envelope into a plastic bag and drove it to the police department out of caution. Johnson told that once the envelope came into the department, the entire area had to be considered contaminated.

The Clermont Fire Department was called to the scene immediately and, at that point, all of the calls coming to the department were routed to the nearby Lake County Sherriff’s Department. Officers on patrol were told not to return to the department and the streets nearby were closed off.

Fire personnel followed standard protocol in dealing with the situation and personnel were seen in full hazmat gear walking in and around the building. The city’s Special Operations Unit was fully utilized.