Newport State Office Building Safe After DCF Threat

Feb 5, 2016

Police in Newport, Vt. briefly placed a state office building  on lockdown Friday morning after an unidentified caller made a threat to the Department for Children and Families, authorities said. By about 10:30 a.m. police called off the lockdown and deemed the area safe.

According to a Facebook post from the Newport Police Department, the caller made demands and threatened violence at the DCF office if the demands were not met.

Newport Police didn't say if any suspects have been identified or arrested, but said the building was safe after about 90 minutes of lockdown.

"At approximately 10:30 hours Newport Police had received enough information to determine that the State building was not in immediate danger and the lockdown was lifted," the Newport Police release said.

The threat comes as lawmakers in Montpelier consider increasing penalties for threats, especially those against DCF workers.

In August, 2015, DCF social worker Lara Sobel was shot and killed outside of state offices in Barre. Authorities say the suspect in that killing, Jody Herring, was upset about losing custody of her child to the state.