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Waukesha County Courthouse closed because of bomb threat

The Waukesha County Courthouse and Administration buildings have been closed because of a bomb threat. All court proceedings for Monday have been canceled and will be rescheduled.

Waukesha County Sheriff Eric Severson said someone called FOX6 News shortly before 9 a.m. saying five bombs had been placed in the Waukesha County Courthouse, and the first was set to detonate at 9 a.m. The TV news station reached out to the sheriff’s office at 8:52 a.m., and Severson said he decided to have the building closed and evacuated. He said an anonymous man then called the sheriff’s office at 9:10 a.m. with the same information about the bomb threat.

Sheriff’s officials, the Milwaukee bomb squad and bomb-sniffing dogs have been doing a sweep of the building since Monday morning. Severson said they’re going through the entire courthouse and the affected buildings. The courthouse and administration buildings will remain closed all day Monday.

“We’re taking it seriously,” Severson said. “A lot of these kinds of threats turn out to be baseless, but there was enough information that came in the original threat. We had literally eight minutes to do an analysis.”

Severson said he didn’t know how many people were in the buildings when they were evacuated, but he said all of the employees were at work, along with many members of the public.

Severson said he hopes normal operations at the courthouse will resume Tuesday morning.

The courthouse is undergoing an expansion and renovation project that will add a four-story tower that will replace an existing, roughly 52,000-square-foot jail. The new tower will have eight courtrooms and security features such as new video-surveillance and fire-protection systems.

The Waukesha County Courthouse was built in 1959 and has undergone various and expansions over the years, bringing its total size to 150,000 square feet. A prisoner transport tunnel was installed in 2010 to allow for the safer movement of prisoners to and from the jail and the
courtrooms. Even so, many things about the building remain outdated.

About Michaela Paukner, [email protected]

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