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Bomb threat forces evacuation, lock down of courthouse, court services
However, officers find no suspicious items in sweep
new vlc courthouse bomb threat pic web
Courthouse employees filled the meeting room at the Barton County Sheriffs Office as they waited for deputies to complete a thorough sweep of the building. - photo by VERONICA COONS Great Bend Tribune

Anyone trying to get into the Barton County Courthouse in Great Bend Friday morning was turned away at the doors by Barton County Sheriff’s Office deputies. The courthouse was closed, evacuated and locked down due to a bomb threat, Sheriff Brian Bellendir said.

Fortunately, it appeared to be a false alarm.

The threat was called in to the courthouse, 1400 Main, and Barton County Court Services, 1806 12th, at around 9:15 a.m. Friday, Bellendir said. 

By 10:30. a sweep of the buildings by law enforcement was complete, county Operations Director Phil Hathcock said. “Deputies from the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the Great Bend Police Department searched the buildings for any suspicious items. None were found.” 

By late Friday morning, business in the buildings had resumed as normal.

The BCSO is continuing to investigate, Hathcock said.

Courthouse personnel were evacuated and sheltering at the BCSO building across the street.  

For some, it was their first time being evacuated for a bomb threat. Others remembered a past incident that occurred when juvenile court cases were to be heard. Many commented they had important end-of-quarter reports needing their attention. But overall, the atmosphere at the Sheriff’s office was calm.

County officials said the last bomb threat called into the courthouse was in 2000.