Local law enforcement agencies were called out twice Thursday after Omega Apparel and DeKalb County High School were made the targets of bomb threats.
The first call came in just before one p.m. and employees at the local industry were evacuated as a precaution. The threat directed at the high school came later in the day.
Law enforcement agents and canines trained in the detection of explosives were brought in from other counties to conduct the searches but nothing was found. No one was injured.
The investigation has resulted in a juvenile being taken into custody regarding the incident at DCHS. The youth was picked up Friday, April 17 by Lieutenant Matt Holmes, Detective Brandon Donnell and K-9 Officer James Cornelius of the Smithville Police Department
In a prepared statement concerning the Omega Apparel incident, Smithville Police Captain Steven Leffew said "On Thursday, April 16 at approximately 12:56 p.m. the Smithville Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to Omega Apparel in reference to a bomb threat. Upon arrival we confirmed a threat stating there were several explosive devices that were in or around the building. The factory was immediately evacuated. Explosive device technicians from the Putnam County Sheriff's Department, Lebanon Emergency Services Unit and the Tennessee Bomb and Arson Squad responded to the scene. Explosive device trained canines were utilized to clear and secure two factories (Omega Apparel)".
"Detective Brandon Donnell is leading this investigation and through prompt and diligent efforts, he has developed a suspect. The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to please call the Smithville Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 615-464-6046."
"I would like to extend my appreciation to the Putnam County Sheriff's department, Lebanon Emergency Services Unit, the Tennessee Bomb Arson Squad, Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker, members of the Smithville fire department and DeKalb EMS. Special thanks to the Smithville First Baptist Church for graciously hosting the employees while the factories were being cleared and secured," said Captain Leffew.
"Officers assisting on the scene were Captain Leffew, Sergeant Brad Tatrow, Detective Brandon Donnell, and Officers Andy Snow and James Cornelius," the statement concluded.
Meanwhile the following is a separate but joint statement from Captain Leffew, Emergency Management Agency Director Charlie Parker, and officials of the DeKalb County School System concerning the incident at DCHS.
"Late in the day on Thursday, April 16, the administration of DeKalb County High School received information of a concerning nature. After assessing the information they received, the school system contacted local law enforcement at which point trained outside agencies were contacted and explosive device trained canine units were utilized to search and clear buildings and grounds. At this point school officials and law enforcement deemed the DCHS campus a safe environment".
"We would like to remind all citizens of DeKalb County that the safety of our students is our utmost concern and we will continue to be proactive in ensuring all students remain safe. If those responsible for this alleged threat are located they will be prosecuted for their actions".
"The DeKalb County School System would like to thank Captain Steven Leffew and the Smithville City Police Department, Sheriff Patrick Ray, SRO Kenneth Whitehead, Emergency Management Director Charlie Parker and other outside agencies for their timely response and assistance in ensuring the safety of the students in DeKalb County," the statement concluded.