UPDATE (10:10 a.m. Tuesday) — Police were called to investigate a suspicious package delivered to Planned Parenthood on Monday. The package was ultimately deemed safe.
At about 2 p.m. Monday, Ithaca police and firefighters were called to Planned Parenthood, located on the 600 block of West Seneca Street. When officers arrived, they did an initial examination and closed off the facility.
What made the delivery suspicious was how it was packaged. Public Information Officer Jamie Williamson said the package, which was delivered by the post office was wrapped entirely in packing tape.
An Ithaca Police Department K-9 dog and a Hazardous Materials Team from the Ithaca Fire Department examined the package to make sure there were no biological or chemical agents “associated with weapons of mass destruction,” a news release said. New York State Police also inspected the package for explosive materials.
Nothing dangerous was found.
Williamson did not disclose what was in the package.
At about 4 p.m. Monday, several officers including three Ithaca police cars and two New York State Police cars were on the scene. Several people who had appointments during the time of the incident had to be turned away while police worked on the scene.
In a statement, Alicia Kenaley, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes, said “Planned Parenthood received a suspicious package in the mail on Monday afternoon and we immediately acted and did exactly what we needed to do to be sure our patients and staff were safe. We are very glad to report all is well and the package did not pose a risk. We want to thank our local law enforcement professionals for their work and swift response to this concern. And, we also want to share a very heartfelt thank you to our community of supporters.”
Police left the scene at about 5:45 p.m. Monday.
Update (1:43 p.m. Tuesday): A statement from Planned Parenthood was added to this story.
Update: Since originally reporting this story, more police officers have arrived at the scene.
ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca Police Department is at the Planned Parenthood facility investigating a possible suspicious package, an official said.
Police were called at 1:56 p.m. to 620 West Seneca Street after the package was reported, a Tompkins County 911 dispatcher said.
Multiple police vehicles and the Ithaca Fire Department were initially called to the scene. Two IPD vehicles are still at the scene around 4:45 p.m. and another K9 unit from the New York State Police arrived at the scene around 4:40 p.m.
Alicia Kenaley, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Southern Fingerlakes, referred comments to IPD who have not returned request for comment.
There is no interruption to usual traffic in the area, but the entrance to the facility’s parking lot is being blocked by four green cones.
Featured image: Police on the scene of Planned Parenthood at about 4 p.m. Monday. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice