Threats to N. Miami City Hall sparks security increase
NORTH MIAMI, Fla. (WSVN) -- There's a heavy show of force at North Miami City Hall, as officials remain on guard after receiving a series of alarming phone calls.
City employees are fearing the threats could turn into much more. That's why officials are taking a string of phone calls very seriously.
On Friday afternoon, North Miami City Manager Stephen Johnson explained, the situation began earlier in the week: a series of phone threats to direct lines of high-ranking officials. The city responded by heightening security at North Miami City Hall.
The north entrance has since been closed. The other entrance has a North Miami police officer greeting those entering the building.
For more than a week, a man has been calling department heads at city hall to make derogatory remarks about Cubans an Haitians. "Racial [remarks] in a threatening manner," said Johnson, who used to be police chief in North Miami.
He has decades of experience in law enforcement and has reason to take these calls seriously. "To call up directors randomly, call specific numbers directly," he said. "They were repeated phone calls."
The city manager said what makes this case unique is that this was not a one-time incident, and the threats were specific. "The threats were that they were going to come over, put people on a boat and ship them back," said Johnson.
So on Wednesday, a police report was filed after that caller called to complain he was billed twice on his water bill. He allegedly said, "You are going to have a war on your hands, and they are going to storm the building."
We did ask to hear those audio clips, but police did not want to release them at this time, as the investigation remains on-going.
However, one resident appearing at city hall felt safer with a police officer present. "I was surprised to see her," said a woman about the police officer. "It's very good."
Johnson said he is confident police will find the caller. "Yes, there are things that they said and done and information, and they will be tracked."
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