The Expo Line terminus in Santa Monica was evacuated briefly Thursday morning as authorities cleared a suspicious package.
Santa Monica police also responded to the scene, but the incident was handled by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials, according to police Lt. Saul Rodriguez.
Sheriff’s officials were seen with a K-9 unit on the platform of the Metro train station. Information about the contents of the package was not immediately available, and attempts to reach a department spokesman were not successful Thursday.
Train service was put on hold during the incident, and road closures were in effect for a short while on 4th and 5th streets near Colorado Avenue. Streets were reopened to traffic and train service had resumed by 11 a.m. Thursday morning, Rodriguez said.
At 10:06 a.m., Metro alerted riders via Twitter that train service was suspended due to “police activity” and that bus shuttles had been requested. By 10:42 a.m., Metro said the issue had been cleared and the shuttles had been canceled.
Calls for suspicious packages at Metro stations are infrequent, according to spokesman Rick Jager, who said that they’re often sparked by people who have left their belongings behind.
Metro contracts with the sheriff’s department for security services and also has a safety campaign to encourage riders to report suspicious activity, Jager said.
Law enforcement personnel can pursue charges if they’re able to identify the package’s owner and determine that the package was left intentionally to disrupt service, Jager said.
Thursday’s incident came more than a month after the opening of Expo Line’s extension from Culver City to Santa Monica.
Authorities have responded to other similar incidents over the last year. In July 2015, sheriff’s deputies responded to Downtown Santa Monica after a woman in the area claimed to have a bomb in her car. In December, Santa Monica’s courthouse was temporarily closed as authorities responded to a report of a suspicious package.