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O'Malley Gives His Assessment On Md. Security Scare

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- One day after two incendiary packages sent to state buildings caused a security scare in Maryland, WJZ talked to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who gave his take on the incident and how public safety officials handled the scare.

Pat Warren has more on his assessment.

As you know, the governor refrained from comment Thursday and continued with business as usual while state police and other agencies launched their investigations.

Hit the alarm, yes. The panic button, no.

The attention was first drawn to the Jeffrey Building across the street from the State House when an employee opened a package that puffed and fizzled, and then set off a firestorm of speculation and media attention.

"Once we determined it was not the sort of thing that would have caused any sort of bodily harm, I went ahead with my normal schedule and felt that it was inappropriate to call a special press conference about, you know, a sparkler," O'Malley said. "But CNN and Fox felt differently about it,  and it's a free country."

The country is also a cautious one.

"I feel the response was very good and appropriate. You never know, in this day and age, whether it's an airline or whether it's a subway car or whether it's the mail system. Someone might be using that openness to hurt someone," O'Malley said.

In this case, the first package that went off was addressed to the governor of Maryland.  

The next step is to assess what, if anything, might have been done differently.

"It's important that we stay vigilant, and it's easy to let your guard down," O' Malley said. "When nothing has happened in a long time, you start cutting corners and maybe not scanning as much of the mail as you should. I think you'll see a lot more mail scanned in the days and months ahead. "

According to the U.S. Postal Service, postal inspectors have identified 13 dangerous devices since 2005, and only one person was injured.

O'Malley says there will be an assessment of the state's response, similar to what happens after any major event, even something like a snowstorm.

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