CALGARY - The Calgary courthouse was evacuated and nearby streets and businesses closed Wednesday after a suspicious package was spotted during a security check.

"A very sharp, observant sheriff noted a suspicious package or device going through the X-ray and took the person into custody right away," said police spokesman Kevin Brookwell.

"The response was quick and the action we took was to ensure the safety of everyone involved. It just takes time when you're dealing with something like this."

Little was known about the individual who arrived at the courthouse around 9 a.m., said Brookwell, although the man was co-operating with police.

Hours later the bomb containment unit used its robot to remove the device.

"It's been put into our safe vessel. It's going to be taken to an undisclosed location here in Calgary, where they'll have a closer look at it using some of the other equipment they have ... in a more safe environment," Brookwell said.

"At some point they will be looking to either disrupt it or render it safe, so they can see exactly what they have, but that could take some time."

The downtown area was shut down for six hours before officers began taking down yellow police tape. All court proceedings and trials were cancelled for the day. Some staff were sent home early.

The courthouse itself was still a "crime scene," said Brookwell, who added the suspect had left behind some belongings that needed to be checked out

Officers were also searching a vehicle in a northeast Calgary parking lot, Brookwell added.

He said police don't believe that anyone was in danger, but felt it was important to be cautious.

"I would rather be criticized for a massive overreaction," he said.

"In the end ... I'd rather say we did what we thought was right at the time and it ended up being nothing, rather than something happening and being asked why didn't you take the necessary precautions?"

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  • Robert Lee

    Looks like the Calgary courthouse is in a lockdown. Block is taped off.

  • Melissa Simpson

    Bomb scare at court house downtown #yyc #Calgary #stayaway #besafe

  • Aaron Bickman

    Bomb threat at the Calgary Court Centre. Our office is on "evacuation alert". Time for a scotch.

  • Jagpreet Shergill

    Suspicious package at calgary Court house. Road closures in area.

  • James Wade

    Going home sick. Just my luck that trains through downtown are shut down. DAMN YOU SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE AT THE CALGARY COURT HOUSE.

  • Kimberley Thurn

    Bomb scare at the Calgary Court House... 2 blocks sealed off. #yyc

  • سمر موسى

    Downtown is closed off due to a suspicious package found in the Calgary Court Building. I hope nothing happens.

  • CamerguyRob

    #YYC traffic being diverted away from Calgary court house. #Suspiciouspackage

  • Duncan

    Looking out office window, Calgary court house appears locked down. Block taped off, police van present. What's going on?

  • Colleen Underwood

    Calgary court ctre closed. Road block. Sheriffs say a suspicious page on scene #

  • Erin Hallahan

    Bomb scare at the Calgary courthouse, one block from where I work! Happy to see @CalgaryPolice taking all the precautions though!

  • Dave Rutherford

    Calgary downtown chaos after suspicious package found at courthouse. Evac underway, cop tape out, transit halted. Covering on air.

  • Pepe Roni

    Lovely. A bomb threat right by my office...