UPDATED: LBPD: Call for Suspicious Package Was False Alarm

Long Beach Library. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)
Long Beach Library. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)

* This story was updated at 10 p.m. on 10.16.13

The Long Beach Police Department and Nassau County Bomb Squad discovered that a call about a suspicious package left outside the Long Beach Library on Wednesday was a false alarm.

“The bag turned out to be nothing more than personal belongings that are currently being vouchered at headquarters,” Lt. Eric Cregeen, LBPD spokesman, told Patch.

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Just before 1 p.m. on Oct 16 the department received a call about a suspicious package that was left in a bush outside the front of the library, at 111 W. Park Ave. in Long Beach, Cregeen said.

The LBPD responded to the scene, created a perimeter with yellow police tape, and asked the people in charge at the library, as well as at an adjacent Starbucks and a deli, to voluntarily evacuate their buildings, and they all complied, Cregeen said.

The LBPD notified the county bomb squad about the suspicious bag, which took an x-ray of to determine its contents.

Wednesday’s incident is the third reported package-related scare in Long Beach this year. On April 17, a City of Long Beach bus driver notified the LBPD of a suspicious bag left unattended in the Long Island Rail Road lobby, after which the bag was determined to be a lost piece of luggage. On May 6, the LBPD received a report of a suspicious bag left at the bus depot which officers later determined two unattended suitcases.

Audrey Krostich October 16, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Steven L Getman October 16, 2013 at 04:03 PM
dirty laundry
Wanttoknow October 16, 2013 at 04:37 PM
"The LBPD responded to the scene, created a perimeter with "...yellow police tape and asked the people in charge at the library, as well as at an adjacent Starbucks and deli, to voluntarily evacuate the buildings, Cregeen said. “They all complied,” he noted." Basic 101. If there's a suspicious package you don't get a chance to volunteer to evacuate. You are mandated to evacuate. What did the LBPD do, Say "Please leave if you want?" If there was a threat and something happened how fast would the families have sued for incompetence? Or is this just poor wording in the ALERT or does The Patch intentionally make the LBPD look like the Keystone Cops?
Trying to Make Sense October 16, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Unattended package? Forgotten package? Abandoned package? But what makes it suspicious to the degree that such a response is required? Does the "if you see something, say something" culture we have been fostering since 9/11 mean that if we report unusual things, costly reaction is inevitable? Absent some reason to believe the LB Library is being targeted or some explanation by the reporter about what makes this package suspicious, I wonder whether we need to calm down and carry on. Now on to the next Patch article about how to keep our kid's safe on Halloween... so many worries, so little time.
kevin sturm October 16, 2013 at 05:23 PM
what do we need lbpd for if we always have to call ncpd to do the work ..why do we have to paid for two police depts..lbpd overpaid ticket cops
Patrick Smith October 16, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Instilling fear, POLEASE
ethel sauzerman October 16, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Is the library even open?
Joey Naham October 16, 2013 at 07:47 PM
All west bound Park ave. traffic was diverted. The entire farmer's market was also evacuated.
Rich Croten October 16, 2013 at 08:03 PM
The Democrats stooped to a new low! Do you know they are closing West School on election day and forcing voters to travel to Lindell School to vote to supposedly"save money". Nice try! They know the West End always comes out strong for good honest people and the Dems know they will not carry the West End votes. People should not be fooled by these people. Get out and vote on election day and lets put Long Beach people back in running City Hall. Vote FRANCESCHINI , JACHNIEWICZ & WALSH.
Jack October 16, 2013 at 11:01 PM
The joke here is that there are suspicious packages and people all over the LIRR area, Waldbaum's plaza, North Park and under the boardwalk yet it goes completely ignored. This library scare was an opportunity for the LBPD to show off their counter terrorism skills. It puts a win win in their column the next time they go to a police conference and need to justify a grant they are applying for.
Eddie October 17, 2013 at 06:50 AM
@Wanttoknow -- "Mandated to evacuate."? Sorry dude. Last time I looked this is still America and nobody, even the lofty LBPD can "mandate" you to leave your private property. Doesn't work like that. If you feel the bundle of overdue books that police-experts find suspicious in the street is no threat to you and you are in your home, you are in charge, not them. From what I've seen the LBPD is pretty conservative when it comes to owners' rights. Let's hope they remain that way.
Wanttoknow October 17, 2013 at 08:33 AM
@ Eddie The library is private property? Then why am I paying taxes to keep it open? If it were my home I was asked to evacuate because some dimwit left a bag outside I could choose to stay as it is private property. I can always stand corrected. Thanks.
Trying to Make Sense October 17, 2013 at 09:23 AM
Well, my question wasn't answered. What makes a package left in front of the library "suspicious" versus just "left there"? Was an antenna sticking out of it? Blinking lights? Or will such response be considered necessary whenever someone calls in a report? I'm sure some of you have heard the public service announcement in which two NJ transit riders notice a man on a train "seeming nervous" and they call it in, as the ad encourages "if you see something, say something"... I'm all for responsible vigilance, but if this is what happens in front of LBPL, one must begin to question the proportion of the response as cost and major traffic inconvenience seem out of proportion to any possible threat.
Hamburger October 17, 2013 at 12:07 PM
it heard it had the hazmat symbol on it
Rich Croten October 17, 2013 at 12:09 PM
This is what happens when you have inexperienced amateurs running the police department. Crime is way way up and so are the many unsolved shootings in the center area of LB.
Eddie October 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM
In fairness to Tangney's Police, there must have been something about the bag for it to be considered "suspicious" rather than "misplaced". It's a judgement call that first responders must make, and it's subjected, as you see, to all sorts of Monday Morning quarterbacking. I haven't heard of too many of these false alarms, and I don't think Long Beach's residents have been inconvenienced by this sort of thing to the point of silliness, so I have no complaints. No evidence of political grandstanding yet...
Trying to Make Sense October 17, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Agreed Eddie. No intent to Monday Morning QB professionals doing their job. But the potential for over reaction is significant and it would be interesting to know what that "something" was even though I recognize it might not be wise for the PD to share that info.
Eddie October 17, 2013 at 06:21 PM
I agree, Sense. Generally there's a protocol for what would be deemed "suspicious". At least that's how most police agencies work. You can find it on the Internet.
ethel sauzerman October 17, 2013 at 09:15 PM
I find the LBPD suspicious.


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