Package Scare Costs Decatur Community Thousands - FOX 54 WZDX – Huntsville News, Weather and Sports

Package Scare Costs Decatur Community Thousands

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DECATUR, AL (WZDX) - A suspicious package found on a Daikin railcar in Decatur on Thursday is costing the community thousands of dollars.

"You've got to plan and you look at it for a long time. We probably had it for 40 years and never really had to put it into action but yesterday, we had to put it into action and it went well. Now there were some hiccups, but there always will be. The communication was vital and we had great communication," said Decatur City Schools Superintendent Ed Nichols.

Decatur City Schools put its plan into action Thursday after a suspicious device was found at Daikin and prompted evacuations in five Decatur schools. That device ended up being a package of marijuana, but those evacuations ended up costing Decatur City Schools $10,000 to $20,000.

"In the scope of 8,000-plus children and 1,100 employees, if we need to spend 10,000 to $15,000 to be safe, that's not a lot to worry," said Nichols.

Nichols said it took just 40 minutes for those five schools to be evacuated, relying on plans from another area business and their crisis response team.

"All the area school systems have evacuation plans that line up with Browns Ferry. We went to that plan because it talks about relocating students, buses, and the number of folks that we have and pulled that plan out and began to utilize it," said Nichols.

The superintendent doesn't believe cost of the evacuation will hurt the school's budgets in any way.

The Decatur Police Department says operations on its ends went smooth, but say there is always room for improvement.

"The biggest problem we saw yesterday (Thursday) was with social media and misinformation being given out. There was a great deal of miscommunication. Plans are being re-evaluated in case an incident like this ever happens again," said Lieutenant John Crouch.


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