A bomb threat made on the Newark public library building Tuesday night turned out to be a dud.
Sheriff’s deputies and a Rhome police officer responded to a reported bomb threat at 10 p.m. Officers made entry and searched the inside and outside of the Godfrey Pegues Public Library in the 200 block of Hudson Street, but no bomb was found.
Newark Mayor Matt Newby arrived shortly after the call to open the building for investigators.
“The library was closed, so I went down there with the key to open the door,” Newby said. “It turned out to be a false alarm. I’d rather it be a false alarm than the real thing.”
Newark Volunteer Fire Department and Wise County medics also responded. It’s unknown who made the threat or why.
Although the threat turned out to be false, it still made employees more alert the next day.
“When something like that happens, it makes you more aware of what is going on around you,” said city secretary Diane Rasor.
“I don’t feel comfortable coming to work until we know who it was or why they mentioned the library,” said librarian Megan Suffling.
She added the city needs to take the threat more seriously.
“It’s the city’s responsibility to ensure this is a safe place to go,” Suffling said. “We have 300-plus patrons a week. There were 20 kids there on Tuesday for the summer reading program.”
Making a false bomb threat is a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $250,000.
Last August, Shauna L. Teague, 41, of Greenwood was sentenced to five years in prison for calling a false bomb threat at the Wise County Courthouse on Feb. 14, 2011.