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Suspicious package prompts brief evacuation of city hall

February 14, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Providence City Hall was briefly evacuated after someone spotted a suspicious package on the first floor inside the building.

A spokeswoman for the mayor says city employees left the building shortly after noon Thursday and gathered at Biltmore Park.

The Biltmore Hotel allowed employees to wait in the lobby because of the cold. Employees were cleared to return just after 12:20 p.m.

Police Chief Col. Hugh Clements said the shape of the package led police to consider it suspicious, but he did not elaborate.

The evacuation came a day after the city council’s Special Committee on Public Safety discussed beefing up security at the building.

Possible security upgrades include metal detectors and closing some entrances to the public. Police also recommended adding cameras and issuing key cards to city employees.