A bomb threat was called into the Jose Marti Freshman Academy in Union City and another one to North Bergen High School around 12:54pm Tuesday.
According to North Bergen Police Chief Bob Dowd, both North Bergen and Union City were getting simultaneous calls from same guy making the threats.
The bomb squad was at the middle school, as well as the Union City Police Department and Hudson County Sheriff’s Department, according to Justin Mercado, spokesperson to Mayor Brian Stack.
According to trusted sources, after an investigation — the threat to NBHS was considered a hoax.
The person who called it in said they had a grenade and firearms, but law enforcement determined that was not true.
They are still trying to find the culprit.
The middle school went into lockdown so they could determine exactly what was going on.
NBHS was on lockdown for less than a half hour.
Superintendent of North Bergen Schools, Dr. George Solter says there was a threat called into the police department and it said that someone was across the street at the gas station and they were going to go into the high school and ‘cause a problem.
“Then he called back a couple of minutes later and said he was inside the school,” Solter says. “So we went into lockdown and all the students went into their lockdown procedure, the administration and everybody. The police department was called and they were on their way.”
According to Solter, the police searched the building. The county sheriff’s department dispatched dogs, the fire department came to Kennedy Boulevard just in case, and the Office of Emergency Management came. They all searched and Dowd says they didn’t find anything so the school resumed the regular day.
“It was a quick act by the police department, principal of the building and all the staff members,” Solter says. “We do training all the time and drills — we were in lockdown within a minute and then the police department went though the building room by room just to make sure everything was okay.”
Contrary to rumors, Solter says there wasn’t a shooting and no intruder was found.
Through the police investigation, they were able to get the phone number and address of the person who called the police department, and the name of the person who the phone was registered to.
“That doesn’t mean that was the person who made the call but they’re following up on their lead and we’re hoping they can catch the person and prosecute them because of the disruption in the day,” Solter says.
“Kids just want to go to school and learn and it’s an infringement on those children’s rights to have a good education,” the superintendent says. “And myself, the principal, all the staff members were mad that this person took it upon himself to do it.
“I want to thank the police and the county for their quick response — and everybody else involved. They really did a great job.”
Solter says they sent a message home to the parents to let them know what happened because they have a right to know.
“There was a phone call made to the police department, we went into lockdown for the safety of the students, the police did their due diligence going through the building, there was no-one found and we continued on with the rest of the day. The police are continuing their investigation and moving forward for an arrest,” Solter says.