EAST ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A phoned-in bomb threat forced the East St Louis Police Department to evacuate Sunday afternoon.
Police Chief Michael Floore said someone called the non-emergency line around 4:15 p.m. and claimed there was a bomb planted at city hall.
The person called back one minute later and said that employees had nine minutes to evacuate before the bomb went off.
The police department and East St. Louis dispatch are located on the second floor of city hall.
All 911 calls were automatically rerouted to another answering point in Belleville.
Chief Floore said that bomb sniffing dogs cleared the building by about 7:00 p.m. on Sunday and determined there was no threat.
Bill Gamblin, executive director of the St Clair County Emergency Telephone System Board, said dispatchers were able to handle East St Louis’ emergency calls without any major delays.
Gamblin said that dispatchers in Belleville communicated with Chief Floore, who remained in the city hall parking lot to direct patrol units.
One desk sergeant, two dispatchers, a jailer and four inmates were the only people in the building on Sunday afternoon.
Police said they were working to trace the call to find the person who made the bomb threat.