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POWDER SCARE: Agencies Practice Response

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There was a familiar scene at the state capitol Tuesday night, but this time it was only a training exercise.

Local, state and federal agencies took part in three white powder scare drills to help prepare themselves for situations like the one that happened in April of 2012.

The capitol building was put on lock-down for more than three hours when House Democrat Ako Abdul-Samad opened a threatening letter, and white powder spilled out.

Tests later confirmed the powder was calcium carbonate, an ingredient commonly found in Tums.

Authorities were criticized for not taking that powder scare seriously, and that in part lead to this drill.

“We go through things like this to try to improve our response time and our skills, and if we’re going to make a mistake this is the time to do it, so we can learn from our mistakes.  So when we do get that call we’re ready to respond,” said Sergeant Scott Bright with Iowa State Patrol.