MIAMI (AP) _ A police officer was demoted after he wrote ``The Taliban'' on a letter intended for another officer, and hazardous materials crews responded, fearing a possible anthrax threat.

The letter from Lt. Jorge Carnero was intended for a captain in the Miami-Dade County department.

A secretary reported the letter after she saw it and was alarmed. The letter contained no threat, but officials treated it as a possible anthrax threat and called the fire department and hazardous materials teams.

``Any time we get a prank call, it's taking away from a possible real emergency that could be taking place,'' spokesman Lupo Jimenez said.

Officials had initially intended to fire Carnero, 47, but instead demoted him to patrolman.

Carnero's lawyer, Michael Cornely, called the demotion excessive.

Four other officers could face punishment for knowing about Carnero's prank but not reporting it.

Meanwhile, in New York, a man doing work for United Parcel Service was fired after he typed ``Binladen'' on nearly two dozen shipping labels ordered by an Arab merchant.

The labels ordered by Hussam Al-Nabulsi arrived with ``Husama Binladen'' typed on the sender line, said UPS spokesman Norman Black.

The fired worker was an employee of a call center taking phone orders for UPS. He was not identified.

UPS apologized to Al-Nabulsi, and gave him corrected shipping labels, Black said.