Anthrax hoax to cost Tennessee town $15,000

A recent anthrax hoax involving a letter containing white powder sent to the Bradley County Courthouse in Knoxville, Tennessee, may prove to cost at least $15,000 locally as a federal investigation continues.
The incident occurred when a clerk in the Circuit Court Clerk's office opened the envelope containing the powder on December 7 at 1 p.m. Authorities were notified and the courthouse was closed down for approximately four hours. Investigators from the U.S. Postal Service identified the substance inside as talcum powder, Cleveland Daily Banner reports.
The potential anthrax scare required emergency response and containment by the Bradley County Sheriff's Office Court Security and the Cleveland Fire Department. Six people went through a decontamination process by the fire department and were later transported to SkyRidge Medical Center. The department then guarded the perimeter of the courthouse.
An estimate by BCSO officials put the costs for its initial involvement at $2,700, with a final figure including follow-up investigation ranging between $6,000 and $8,000. The Cleveland Fire Department estimated approximately $1,400 in labor and $1,600 in equipment costs. The Bradley County Fire Rescue Department estimated that his department's involvement cost was approximately $400.
Aside from the costs, the teams involved learned valuable information about how to deal with a real situation in the future.
“We train regularly for these type situations,” Troy Spence, the director of the Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency, said, according to Cleveland Daily Banner. “Of course with each exercise or actual incident, we learn how to handle situations differently and this ... hoax will also yield how we do things in the future.”