Planet Princeton

Princeton University Campus Reopened After Bomb Threat

Princeton University officials reopened the campus at about 6:30 p.m. after an almost day-long search for explosives after the school received a bomb threat this morning.

The University evacuated staff and students from its campus this morning after receiving a bomb threat for multiple, unspecified campus buildings that was deemed credible by authorities.

Some news outlets reported that a suspicious package was found on campus, but those reports are false. A crock pot was found at the Lawrence Apartments, law enforcement sources said. Originally people thought it was a pressure cooker. It appeared that the crock pot was left behind when someone moved out of the apartment complex.

Law enforcement sources said someone called the University this morning and said a student placed multiple bombs on campus. University employees and others on campus were asked to evacuate the campus and all University offices and go home unless otherwise directed by a supervisor. Public Safety officers and Princeton Police were directing drivers leaving the campus and those without cars were directed to evacuation sites. University officials told employees not to return to campus for any reason until advised otherwise. Students, faculty and staff were advised to go home, assemble at evacuation sites or go into the town of Princeton, where the Nassau Inn, Princeton Public Library and Princeton Arts Council buildings were open to them.

The University’s Department of Public Safety investigated the threat with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Police advised officials at the Princeton Public Schools to go about their school day as usual. Superintendent Judy Wilson ordered that there be no outside student activity as an added precaution though. All after school activities were canceled

Some local roads were closed for several hours during the search, and the Dinky train was temporarily shut down. The University’s TigerTransit service has been suspended until Wednesday morning.

Last update at 8:15  p.m. We will post more information when it becomes available.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

30 comments

  • Gee, what a surprise … no bomb. This sort of thing calls for a Freakanomics-style study of the productivity lost by measures such as the (ridiculously overblown) ones taken yesterday, versus the “benefit” (if any, since no recent instance in the U.S. where a bomb threat led authorities to a bomb comes to mind).

  • I just came here to comment on the humor of not knowing a crock pot from a pressure cooker and the lack of culinary skills in Princeton.

    I didn’t know there would be so many people who don’t know the difference of a threat to their lives and a threat to their schedule.

  • I don’t think running out of a burning building is “giving up essential liberty”, but if you want to burn you’re free to do so.

  • Yes, in fact they often do. Some people want to damage property and not people, and some people want to cause panic and disruption.

  • Were it to be an atomic bomb, we’d have nothing to worry about. We’d be dust.

  • Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Ben Franklin

  • No. Security must react to a bomb threat.

    A bomb threat means there may or may not be bomb(s) that may or may not go off.

    Since we only know the details provided by the media, it seems the threat was to multiple unknown locations on campus.

    By forcing traffic around Princeton and not through, the police can eliminate having to protect additional victims who may or may not know about the threat. These drivers might drive near or park and walk in the vicinity of where a bomb threat has been made. As mentioned above, the police don’t necessarily know those locations.

    As far as an atomic bomb, I think Princeton police would have a lot more to worry about than just evacuating Princeton Township. We’d most likely have very visible federal intervention as well.

  • Somehow, Museum Guy, I don’t guess you’re a “security or terrorism expert.”

  • The evacuation of the University was an appropriate reaction to a bomb threat. Considering that most roads into Princeton run through or near the University closing down those roads will of course lead to more traffic. I’m not sure which overreaction you are referring to.

  • Please: stop. Unless you are a security or terrorism expert you’re not helping yourself. Or anyone else.

  • fire trucks just went screaming up Witherspoon Street. Hope it’s unrelated, but still nerve-wracking considering today’s events.

  • The whole town wasn’t shut down…it just seemed like it from the gridlock. I’d love to hear your response if something horrible happened and officials had failed to act!

  • The entire town was not shut down. Most of us are working and going about our lives as usual.

    I think the reaction was appropriately cautious.

  • Shutting down the entire town of Princeton is “being extra cautious”? There is almost certainly no bomb to offset the huge economic cost of this, and, moreover, the bomb threat was not against the dinky, the local roads, the public schools, etc., it was against the University.

  • Given the recent events in Boston, who could blame people for being extra cautious?

  • It’s only an overreaction if there’s no bomb.

    I’ll assume your name is hyperbole, because you clearly haven’t had to deal with public safety threats of any magnitude.

  • Yes, they did it as a precaution. No outside activity for students (story updated). Thanks.

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