WEEHAWKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Extra police officers are on hand one day after two New Jersey elementary schools were each placed on lockdown for similar reports of intruders.
The first incident happened around 8 a.m. Thursday at George Washington Elementary School in Union City.
Police said a man got into the school and was found rummaging through a desk in a basement office. The school was placed under lockdown as a precaution.
The man fled into a stairwell and exited the building, Union City Police Chief Richard Molinari said.
Police have released surveillance images of the suspect.
Around 4 p.m. in neighboring Weehawken, Daniel Webster No. 2 Elementary School was placed on lockdown after an unidentified man entered the building.
Despite having armed security, Weehawken Schools Superintendent Kevin J. McLellan said the man may have just walked through the front door, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.
“We have cameras, surveillance, we have restricted entry into the school, but as we all know security plans are an ongoing process,” McLellan said. “We are reviewing those procedures right now.”
Some Weehawken parents believe school administrators didn’t act quickly enough.
Parent Jaime Coutroulis said the man entered the school hours before the lockdown, prompting some teachers to lock their doors. She claims the school principal was aware, but did not take action until much later.
“Precautionary measures should happen immediately when there’s a suspicious individual,” Coutroulis told CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell. “Don’t wait seven hours to do the precautionary measure. Get on it immediately; our children are in there.”
School administrators emphasize that they are reviewing their security procedures.
“There are some things that can be improved and we are working toward that end,” said Jeffrey Fulcher, Weehawken Deputy Director of Public Safety. “No security plan is perfect.”
Weehawken Police are also reviewing surveillance video from the school to figure out how the man slipped in and out of the school undetected.
No arrests have been made and police believe both incidents could be the work of the same man, Burrell reported.
Police have been handing out fliers with images of the suspect, asking for the public’s help in tracking him down.
Some parents told WCBS 880′s Levon Putney that they don’t want to bring their children back to school until the man is apprehended
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