Device not believed to be an explosive was retrieved

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FARMINGTON — San Juan College staff members and students were evacuated briefly from a campus building this morning after a suspicious device was found in a restroom on campus.

The Farmington Police Department was dispatched around 9:38 a.m. to the Information Technology Center building on a report of a suspicious device being found, according to police spokesperson Georgette Allen.

Kenneth Hibner, director of public safety for San Juan College, said the area near the restroom was cleared when the device was found, and Farmington police quickly were notified.

When officers arrived on scene, they looked at the device and deemed a full evacuation necessary, Hibner said.

Hibner thanked Farmington police for their swift response.

"They have been real supportive of us and the service they provide to our campus," Hibner said.

Staff members with the public safety and physical plant departments worked together and cleared the building as they waited for the bomb squad to arrive.

Student Diana Saura-Campbell noticed officers were blocking access to part of the building while she was walking to class.

She was in her classroom for a couple of minutes before the officers came in and evacuated the building.

Saura-Campbell and other students were waiting outside the cosmetology building during the evacuation.

Traffic was blocked on Golden Circle outside the building during the investigation. Students and staff members were directed to stand about 300 feet away from the building, according to Hibner.

The bomb squad arrived on scene about 10:20 a.m. Squad members retrieved a package they did not believe was an explosive and left the scene at 11:14 a.m., Allen said. The package was taken off site for disposal.

Staff members and students were allowed back in the building around 11 a.m.

Security officers were posted inside the building to help people collect their belongings or get to their next class, Hibner said.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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