Bomb Threat Prompts Lockdown, Evacuation at Niagara County Schools

02.10.14 | Bob Price

A bomb threat triggered evacuations at one Niagara County school and a lockdown at another. The all clear has been issued at Niagara Falls High School, and students are expected to return to the classrooms in Niagara Wheatfield late Monday morning.

Students in the Niagara Wheatfield Junior and Senior High Schools were evacuated to the Sanborn Fire Hall (right) shortly before 9 am Monday, and the Niagara County Sheriff's Department has said they are investigating an incident at the school.

The Niagara Falls district released a statement saying a bomb threat was received by both schools.

"The phone call was very short in nature. It didn't give us a lot of information and the credibility of it was somewhat questionable," said Niagara County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Steven Preisch. The call was received by 911 dispatchers at 7:55AM.

"The school worked with investigators from the Niagara County Sheriff's Dept. and the Niagara Falls Police Department. Normal lockdown procedures were followed and all necessary precautions were taken," according to a statement from school officials.

Other than to confirm that they were investigating an incident, Niagara county Sheriffs department did not initially describe the nature of their effort-- but Sheriff James Voutour later tweeted that the search at the Niagara Wheatfield school was "progressing well."

The search for an explosive ended at 11:20AM, when the Niagara County Sheriff's department announced that no explosives were found. Niagara Wheatfield students then began to make their way back in to school where the rest of the day was planned to go on as normal, but with extra police presence. Parents at Niagara Wheatfield do have the option of picking up their children from the school if they don't want them to spend the remainder of the day there.

Preisch says that the department is following leads that may help them find the person who made the 911 call. Priesch said that bomb threat calls are becoming increasingly unpopular because of caller ID and other technology that makes it easy to trace phone calls.

Sheriff's Dept. officials said the evacuations were undertaken as a precaution, and school officials tell WBEN that students will be returned to the regular classrooms once the all clear is given.

State police and border patrol officers could be seen at the Niagara Wheatfield campus assisting in the investigation.

Here's the statement from the Niagara Falls School District.
 

At 8:34 a.m. Niagara Falls High School went into a precautionary lockdown as a result of an anonymous call received by both Niagara Falls High School and Niagara Wheatfield.

The school worked with investigators from the Niagara County Sheriff's Department and the Niagara Falls Police Department. Normal lockdown procedures were followed and all necessary precautions were taken to ensure student safety. there was no intruder in the school.

Students and staff preformed in an exemplary manner and the school is returning to its regularly scheduled school day activities.