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Baltimore Corrections Facility Shuts Down Over Piece Of Cardboard Resembling A Weapon

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center was temporarily locked down on Monday after authorities were alerted to a security threat, which turned out to be a piece of cardboard fashioned to resemble a weapon, corrections officials said.

The center was locked down around noon over the potential security threat, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correction Services spokesperson Mark Vernarelli said in an email.

Correctional staff tasked with monitoring facility video and camera systems "saw what appeared to be a potential security risk at Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center."

The department investigated the threat using its special operations staff, K9 officers, intelligence unit, and contraband interdiction team, Vernarelli said.

These are "highly trained units which routinely respond statewide to protect DPSCS employees and the incarcerated." he said.

A medic was dispatched to the center and put on standby while the operation was quickly conducted, which is normal operating procedure, corrections officials said.

The department decided to relocate three detainees to another facility while it investigated the incident, officials said.

Those detainees were returned after a probe of the area was conducted and the facility resumed normal operations, Vernarelli said.

Department detectives are now in the process of determining whether charges can be filed against those involved with the piece of cardboard that resembled a weapon.

"DPSCS detectives will consult with the State's Attorney's Office on possible criminal charges," he said.

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