Station Closed; Suspicious Package Not Dangerous
By Lynne Bronstein
The Culver City Expo Line station was closed for almost two hours on Tuesday, due to a security threat involving what police called "a suspicious package" on the station platform.
According to Lieutenant Allen Azran of the Culver City Police a call came in at about 2:50 p.m. regarding the package. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was alerted and closed the station with assistance from the Culver City Police, who diverted traffic from the area.
The County Sheriff's K-9 division, which uses dogs to sniff out suspicious objects, was also on the scene, as was the Culver City Fire Department.
This reporter had just arrived at the scene when the station was shut down. About 25 commuters who had planned to board the Expo Line were diverted by police and MTA officials to an area onVenice Boulevard where they were told to wait for a shuttle bus that would take them to the next station at Jefferson and La Cienega Boulevards.
Many of the commuters became tired of waiting for the shuttle and took the Venice Boulevard 33 and 733 buses instead.
The Observer was directed to a command post that had been set up at the corner of National and Venice Boulevards. There, Sgt. Gary Irwin of the Culver City Police explained that a suspicious device had been seen on the station platform and had been reported.
Police cordoned off access to the station and told drivers who were trying to park in the station parking lot to drive to the next station for access to the Expo Line.
County Sheriff's Department official Holly Perez told the Observer that the package was "round-looked like a seat cushion-and was wrapped in duct tape." The Sheriff's arson explosives team checked it out but found nothing about the package that was explosive.
According to Perez, "In the past we'd get three or four calls a week about suspicious devices. 99 of 100 of them turn out to not be suspicious but there's that one in a hundred that is suspicious and we turn it over to the arson explosives team to investigate."
Police said the station was reopened at about 4 p.m. and regular service resumed on the Expo Line.