‘Suspicious Package’ Found at Bentonville Child Center Deemed Art Supplies

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A "suspicious" unmarked package found at the back door of a Bentonville preschool Thursday morning (March 21) was deemed arts supplies.

After a two hour investigation, the Bentonville Bomb Squad, police and fire crews said the Helen R. Walton Children's Enrichment Center was safe.

The center enacted its risk management protocol and the Bentonville police were called to review the situation, according to a news release from the child center.

“We sent some officers out and they helped them try to determine where the package came from or why it was there,” said Sgt. Russell Hinds with the Bentonville Bomb Squad. “They were unable to find anything out about the package so they notified the bomb squad. We came out and did an assessment on it, sent the robot down and opened up the package and were able to determine that there wasn`t anything hazardous in it. It was a box of coloring sticks.”

The call came in at 6:11 a.m. Bentonville Police Chief Jon Simpson said students were diverted from the center.

"Our first priority is the well-being of our children. Therefore, it is always best to be cautious and follow safety protocols," Michelle Stephens, Executive Director for Helen Walton, said in the release.

Doors reopened at 9 a.m.