NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police originally planned to evacuate hundreds of elementary school students Wednesday morning, after a note was discovered that contained a bomb threat, according to a report on NJ.com.
But police officials called off the evacuation and instead quietly searched the school for a bomb. A spokesman for the department was light on details, declining to say where the note was found or what exactly it said.
“We’re investigating who wrote the note now,” Captain JT Miller told the Star-Ledger.
The city school board, for undisclosed reasons, opted not to publicize the incident. Instead, parents read about the threat on NJ.com later that day.
The Star-Ledger’s Sue Epstein broke the story yesterday two hours after the situation developed:
Police searched the Lincoln Elementary School on Bartlet Street after a note was found that contained a bomb threat, but nothing turned up, according to a police spokesman.
Capt. J.T. Miller, a spokesman for the New Brunswick Police Department, said the note was found in the school shortly after 11 a.m. and police were notified.
Miller said although police originally planned to evacuate the school, the evacuation was called off.
According to police radio transmissions, the note was actually found at some point before 10:43 am when officers began responding to the school.
Both the city police department and school board use an online emergency notification systems called Nixle, that offers resident email and text message alerts, but neither entity opted to use the system after this incident.
Miller did not return a phone message or multiple emails from New Brunswick Today. Emails seeking comment this morning from the city’s schools superintendent, and a spokesman for the mayor’s office also went unanswered.
On January 13, East Brunswick police made the decision to evacuate a county vo-tech school after finding a written bomb threat. They also issued a press release, which was sent to residents via the Nixle service.
On April 10, Hamilton Township police used Nixle to report a bomb threat that forced an evacuation earlier that day. A week later, the department used the same system to announce two students were arrested in the case.
Since the threatening note was found in Lincoln School on Wednesday, North Brunswick sent out four messages in relation to a factory fire, and South River sent out three messages regarding power outages in the community. East Brunswick also sent a community message, for those who desire more than just emergency notifications, regarding an upcoming fishing derby for kids.
New Brunswick Police last used their Nixle account 11 days ago to announce additional enforcement of the law that requires motorists to use seatbelts. According to the school district’s Nixle account, the school system has not utilized the notification service in several months.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.