Opp Prepared For Covington County Bomb Threat


By Heather VacLav

Even though Thursday's bomb threat in Covington County was "just a threat" - it's still not something people expect in the town of Opp. 

"What it did, is it put the fear in the people who work for us, and it was real fear," said Opp Mayor John Bartholomew. "When we asked them to remove themselves from the building because we had a bomb threat, they were scared."

Law enforcement agencies in Andalusia and Opp searched for a possible bomb in city hall, the county court house, police department, and public schools, but there were no traces of a explosive device.

Thursday morning police say a caller told the District Attorney's office a government building would blow up. After tracking down and taking the caller into custody, the Coffee County Sheriff's Office says he is being mentally evaluated at a hospital.

"It was foolish, I am thankful that nothing took place," said Opp Police Chief Michael McDonald. "But as it was, it was bad enough in terms of hurting the normal course of the business day for a lot of people."

Chief McDonald said the bomb threat disrupted school and business across Covington County, closing Opp and Andalusia municipal offices, and letting school out early in Andalusia and shortly before normal hours in Opp.

"Usually Opp is a real quite place," said David Calhoun, who's lived in Opp for 15 years. "I've got kids in both schools in Opp, and it's really a shame that someone would do something like that."

The newly elected Opp mayor said the bomb threat was "unexpected," but Opp was prepared. 

"This is our small town, but still we take precaution, we have protocol and we have to make sure our protocol is in place and we do those things that protect our people," Bartholomew said.

McDonald said the bomb threat in Covington County just goes to show that places like Opp are not immune to big city problems. 

Currently, no one has been charged or arrested in the bomb threat. The name of the caller has also not been released, but the investigation is ongoing.

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