CRESSKILL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Security scares stirred panic Monday at several schools in New Jersey and New York.
In Bergen County, Cresskill Middle and High schools were locked down for about four hours and SWAT teams were called in after police said the schools received a threatening call at 9:49 a.m. that a gun was inside a building there, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported.
Police said all students were safe, and the situation was later deemed to be an incident of “swatting,” in which a fake threat is reported to provoke a massive police response.
Cresskill Chief of Police Edward Wrixon told Baker that cops, as a precaution, treated the incident as if a gunman was inside the building.
“We responded with our active-shooter program,” Wrixon said. “Two of our officers arrived first on the scene and immediately went into the school and started clearing hallways and securing school rooms.”
The regional SWAT team, Bergen County police and neighboring forces joined in the response. Police used K-9 units to perform security sweeps.
“We practice drills of marching the kids to a safe zone such as this, so this is nothing that we haven’t done already,” Wrixon said. “Unfortunately, we had to put it into play thinking that it was a serious and it was a legitimate threat.”
Parents received an emergency text message alerting them to the situation.
“I’m not frightened because the kids, they’re saying that they’re safe, and it’s just that they got an anonymous call,” said mother Nidhi Birani.
“This isn’t something you want to hear,” added mother Karen Hess. “It happens all too often unfortunately, but they’ve been really great with the communication.”
Students, however, were shaken by the incident.
“People were scared and nervous,” one girl said.
“Getting a text from my son, Robert, when it happened at 10:30, and all he told me was he was in the locker room (and) he was very scared,” Robert McCullen, a father, said.