Police Investigating Bomb Threat at a Princeton Elementary School

Johnson Park Elementary School PrincetonPolice investigated a bomb threat that was called in to the Johnson Park School in Princeton this morning, Oct. 20.

No bomb was found and the threat was deemed not credible.

The bomb threat is the fourth threat called in to a school in the Princeton Public Schools district since the start of the new academic year in September.

Schools across the state and nation have received similar threats. The bogus calls are called “swatting.” Swatting is tricking an emergency services dispatcher into dispatching an emergency response team. Police say they must respond to each threat, even though it is likely a hoax, in the event that it is actually real.

Letter from Superintendent of Schools Steve Cochrane that went out this afternoon:

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff and Students,

At 9:23 this morning, a bomb threat was received at the Johnson Park Elementary School. The police responded immediately and placed the school in lockdown while they swept the interior and exterior of the building. All other schools throughout the district were directed to implement shelter in place protocols, which keep students indoors and maintain heightened levels of security.

At approximately 10:00, the police completed their investigation and issued an “All Clear” for Johnson Park. The lockdown was lifted at JP as were the Shelter In Place protocols at the other buildings.
Based on their investigation, the police believe today’s threat to once again be a hoax known as “swatting.” The police continue to work with state and federal agencies to investigate these incidents that are affecting our community. At the same time, the district is preparing to implement telephone security enhancements that will aid the police in their investigation.

An open meeting to discuss swatting and to provide an update on the response of the police and the district will be held on Thursday, October 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the John Witherspoon Middle School auditorium. All are welcome.

I appreciate your continued patience and support, and I am grateful to our staff and students for their calm response to a difficult situation.

Dismissal will proceed as normal this afternoon, as will after-school activities.

Steve Cochrane