Bucks shut down due to threats

Bucks shut down due to threats

Sarah Siock

On Tuesday, Sept. 25 an anonymous third-party tip was sent to Newtown Township Police Department it was deemed credible and contained information which directly targeted Bucks County Community College.

The threat was specific to the date Sept. 26 and affected only the Newtown campus. The college followed police recommendations and closed the campus on Sept. 26. Spokeswoman for the college, Jean Dolan, weighed in on the threat, “Our number one priority is keeping staff and students safe, which is why we decided to close the school.”

The Newtown Township Police continued to investigate and released a statement that said, “The threat has not been substantiated,” and that the investigation was a “top priority.” The police did not release any further information on incident on Wednesday. The college did make an alert late Wednesday evening that the campus would be open Thursday. The school assured staff and students that there was no ongoing threat.

Early in the morning Sept. 27 Newtown police released an updated statement on the threat, “Based on the diligence of detectives, the source of the information has been identified and, after assessing all of the information, the threat of violence was deemed to not be credible.” The police have also stated that the investigation is still ongoing and no further information regarding specifics of the threat and identification of the source can be released at this time.

President of BCCC, Stephanie Shanblatt, assured the staff and students that the campus was safe to attend in a statement posted on the school’s Twitter page. Shanblatt wrote, “Newtown Township Police have traced the origin of the threat and are certain that there is no danger to anyone on campus.” She also thanked the Newtown police for responding quickly to the incident.

The school has received various threats in the past that have resulted in parts of campus closing. In 2005 there was a bomb threat found in a women’s bathroom. Again, in 2008 a bomb threat was made to a specific location on the campus. Once more in 2015, a student reported that he heard classmates threatening to bomb the library.

In the afternoon on Thursday Sept. 27, Stephanie Shanblatt released an updated statement on the incident which gave some insight on the threat, “Newtown Township Police have identified one of our students as the source of the threat of violence” said Shanblatt via Twitter. Shanblatt assured staff and faculty that the student has been suspended and is not allowed on campus. The Police are continuing to investigate and have not issued a public statement on the identity of the threat.

BCCC wants this event to serve as a reminder to students to report any suspicious activity they may see or hear in the future to a security officer. All students can stay updated on campus alerts by signing up for the e2Campus alert system.