Sgt. Ralph Williams of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the bomb threat was called in to the courthouse around 8 a.m. Members of the Sheriff’s Office and Jasper Police Department responded.
“The courthouse was evacuated while a physical search and a search by a bomb dog from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad was conducted,” Williams said.
Precautions were also taken at Maddox Middle School, which is in close proximity to the courthouse.
Jasper City Schools Superintendent Robert Sparkman said students were not allowed to go outside for any reason, including P.E., because of the bomb threat. Classes remained in session.
“We had some folks posted outside to keep an eye on what was happening at the courthouse. Chief (Connie) Rowe kept us up-to-date on what was going and gave us the all-clear when everything was OK,” Sparkman said.
The scene was declared secure around 10:30 a.m., and employees and the public were allowed back into the courthouse.
An investigation of the bomb threat is being conducted by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office. The person or persons behind the threat will potentially face criminal charges in both federal and state court, according to Williams.
“The disruption of judicial functions and courthouse business will not be tolerated. We will aggressively pursue those responsible,” he said.
Thursday’s bomb threat was the third to affect Walker County in the past year.
A bomb threat was called in to Walker Baptist Medical Center in July, and another bomb threat shut down the Marshall Durbin chicken processing plant in August.