FDLE Mail Screenings

mail box

Six postal employees in Fort Myers are recovering from an anthrax scare, they were taken to the hospital for decontamination Tuesday, before tests revealed the white powder they discovered was not toxic.

Mail headed to the Florida capitol is screened off-site to make sure there are no scares like that in the capitol complex.

We were taken to the capitol's secret mailroom Wednesday for the first time since it opened in the wake of Sept. 11. Just last week, screeners at a secret mailroom in Tallahassee -intercepted a suspicious letter bound for the governor's desk.

The powder inside was analyzed, and found to be safe.

Every letter or package mailed to the capitol complex is screened here, 120,000 pieces of mail a month.

All of them are x-rayed to weed out any weapons or bombs, about 200 packages a month are flagged as suspicious, are taken to a special bio-hazardous hood, where inspectors put on gloves and masks and examine them to be sure there's no trouble inside.

On Tuesday, an anthrax scare in the mailroom at Florida International Airport sent six postal workers to the hospital.

The powder they discovered in a mail shipment there has now been deemed safe. But, the incident served as a reminder to state mailroom workers. Until two years ago, the capitol mail wasn't screened at all.

The secret mailroom is a couple of miles from the capitol, and has been in operation since October 2001. No bombs, weapons or deadly substances have been found.