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Woman in custody after unsubstantiated threat to ISP headquarters in Du Quoin

  • The Illinois State Police headquarters in Du Quoin were back to normal Thursday morning.

    The Illinois State Police headquarters in Du Quoin were back to normal Thursday morning.
    Devan Vaughn photo

  • Police blocked off both ends of Route 51 Wednesday night, diverting traffic away from the ISP headquarters.

    Police blocked off both ends of Route 51 Wednesday night, diverting traffic away from the ISP headquarters.
    Jon Montgomery photo

 
Du Quoin Call staff report
updated: 1/8/2021 2:19 PM

A woman who inferred an explosive device might be present was taken into custody Wednesday evening at Illinois State Police headquarters in Du Quoin.

ISP authorities said the woman was taken into custody with no injuries to anyone. A thorough search of the premises turned up no explosive device. The ISP headquarters is at 1391 S. Washington St. (U.S. Route 51) in Du Quoin, across Route 51 from the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds.

No charges have been filed and the Illinois State Police are continuing to investigate the event, which closed traffic on Route 51 for hours.

Sgt. Joey Watson, the ISP District 13 public information officer said in a news release that the drama started at about 4 p.m. The woman was safely taken into custody at about 6:15 p.m. and operations returned to normal by 8:40 p.m., he said. Traffic on Route 51 resumed normally at about 8:30 p.m.

During the event, all personnel were evacuated from the ISP headquarters, as well as surrounding businesses, including the Prysmian Group (formerly general cable).

Watson said Thursday that ISP personnel are trained to deal with the unexpected.

"We're highly trained and prepared to deal with incidents such as this," Watson said. He said that training bears out, "in that there was a successful resolution to this."

Authorities were being deliberately vague about details so as to not jeopardize a case still being investigated and developed -- if charges are eventually brought.

"This incident is in its infancy and is being actively investigated by the Illinois State Police," the news release said. The Du Quoin Police Department and other agencies also assisted Wednesday night.

Watson would not say how wide the search for explosives was, but added, "We're going to make sure the public is safe."

He also would not say if the woman is still in custody, and if so, where she is being held.

Meanwhile, Du Quoin Mayor Guy Alongi posted a thank you on his Facebook page: "Our community extends its deepest appreciation to all law enforcement and first responders in their response to the calls at State Police District 13 Headquarters late yesterday afternoon in Du Quoin. We are proud of your performance for keeping people safe and taking control of a very difficult situation. We say thank you to each of you. Once again you had our backs."