Bomb squad checks suspicious package at Black Hawk casino

No explosives; everyone safe

By Lynn Volkens

A suspicious package spotted at Black Hawk’s Gilpin Casino on the morning of December 26, 2012 got the attention of casino security, Black Hawk Police, and the Jefferson County bomb squad.

John East, Vice President of Operations at the Gilpin and Lodge Casinos, said the brown paper bag was found by an employee on the landing of a stairway that is not frequented by the casino guests. “The location was suspicious,” he said. The employee notified casino security. Security notified Black Hawk Police, East said. The bag appeared to contain a box, but officials could not identify the contents beyond that.

Black Hawk Police Chief Stephen Cole said the bag did not look like it had been just thrown down, as one would drop trash. Based on the placement of the bag, the location in the stairway, “and everything that’s been going on across the country,” the reasonable thing to do was to make sure. Areas at risk, including the upper end of Main Street, were evacuated and the Jefferson County bomb squad was called in. After they’d x-rayed the package and determined there were no explosives, the evacuation was lifted, Main Street reopened, and business got back to normal. The entire incident took about an hour, Cole reckoned. “It didn’t turn out to be anything – that’s the way we like it,” he said. The chief gave credit to the alert employee for acting to make sure everyone was safe.

East echoed Cole’s comment, crediting the employee for following protocol and law enforcement officials for acting prudently. “Guest safety and employee safety is a priority for us. We want people to have fun, but we take guest safety very seriously.”

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