BEHIND THE STORY: “There are bombs in the school,” a male voice said on a Saddle Brook elementary school’s voicemail. The employee who heard it notified authorities.
Long Memorial Elementary School
Police then moved staff and a small group of early-arriving pupils to another school.
District administrators also sent a reverse-911 automated call to parents of Long Memorial Elementary School pupils telling them to bring their children to the nearby Smith School on Cambridge Avenue.
Not many of the 300 or so youngsters showed up, so school officials cancelled the K-6 school’s day.
Detective Capt. Vincent Laurentino is tracing the origin of the message, which apparently was left moments before the staffer heard it at 8:30 a.m., Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert Kugler told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon.
“Often times, these type of threats serve to cause alarm and annoyance to the building occupants, and to satisfy some type of disturbing mindset of the person making the threat,” the chief said.
Authorities took no chances, though: The Bergen County Police K-9 unit conducted a bomb/explosives sweep of the school without finding anything of concern.
Kugler praised Principal Frank Mazzini and “the professional conduct of staff, students and emergency responders.
“The parents and community are, and should be, very proud of his and his staff’s safety practices and protocols,” the chief said. “It is truly comforting to know we have the professionalism and competency in emergency situations.”
The evacuation went smoothly, Mazzini said.
“First of all, I would like to thank the staff members of Long Memorial School for moving the students quickly and calmly to where they were directed to go,” the principal wrote, in a letter to school parents and guardians. “Secondly, I have to recognize the students for behaving so well and staying calm.
“Lastly, I thank those parents who were present and those who came to pick up their children for remaining calm as well as following directions.”
He then added a reminder: “School will be back in session tomorrow and all are expected to attend.”
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