Archive for Thursday, April 19, 2007

Baldwin City police, sheriff’s officers respond to bomb threats

April 19, 2007

Baldwin City police and Douglas County Sheriff's officers have conducted searches of all schools in the district Thursday morning as a result of a "non-descript, generic" bomb threat made in a call to Douglas County dispatch around 5:30 a.m. Nothing has been found in any of the schools, said Cpl. Kristen Dymacek, and there's no cause for alarm.

Baldwin High School, Baldwin Junior High School, Baldwin Elementary Center Primary Center and Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center were checked by police officers. Sheriff's officers checked Vinland Elementary School and Marion Springs Elementary School, according to a district spokesperson.

Supt. Paul Dorathy said that all precautions have been taken with all schools. He feels confident that everything is safe, but said any parents who feel uncomfortable with the situation are welcome to pick up their children at school.

"We've had law enforcement here in response to this non-specific threat," said Dorathy. "We've had law enforcement in all of our buildings. They have looked and staff have looked for anything suspicious."

Dorathy said two schools, BESPC and Vinland, have gone into "lockdown," but not full lockdown.

"Some of our schools have chosen to go in lockdown mode, but not full lockdown," he said. "Law enforcement has not advised us to go in lockdown, but it's up to each individual school.

"We are doing what needs to be done to keep our kids safe," said Dorathy. "At this point, I feel confident. We have been in contact with law enforcement and they say to be diligent. That's what we're doing. As always with a situation like this, if a parent feels uncomfortable they are welcome to come get their child."

Lawrence Police are investigating a series of "three or four" bomb threats made to 911 dispatchers, Capt. David Cobb said.

The threats have been "non-descript and generic" without being specific about a location, Cobb said. The caller, a male, has mumbled words about a bomb at a school and city hall. The caller doesn't say what school or even what city, Cobb said.

Police have notified school districts in the county and school officials can decide what action they want to take, Cobb said.

Dymacek and Kim Judy, School Resource Officer, conducted the searches in Baldwin City.

City Administrator Jeff Dingman said he'd personally checked City Hall.

"Just a cursory check by me," said Dingman. "The building was locked and the alarm set last night just after five, and I did not get any alarm notifications. The building was opened up as usual this morning at eight with only one point of access. I did walk through the American Legion, the basement, and checked the outside door that leads up to the old police department. Nothing seems out of the ordinary."

Baker University spokesman Steve Rottinghaus said precautions had been taken there today, as well.

""Baker University security made sweeps of all campus facilities before noon," said Rottinghaus.

The Signal will update this story online as more information becomes available.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.