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Police: Threat to school untrue

December 22, 2012
The Leader Herald


The Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN - City police said a statement by a student led to an investigation into a threat at Johnstown High School.

Chief Mark P. Gifford said city police and district administrators investigated and found the threat to be untrue.

Police said officers were contacted by school officials Monday about an incident involving a student at the Johnstown High School. The situation was immediately dealt with by school officials and police. An investigation began midmorning on Monday and concluded around 8:30 p.m. Thursday, police said.

Gifford said officials interviewed students and parents in a full investigation the past three days.

"If at any point the Johnstown Police Department or the Johnstown School District felt there had been any credible threat to any single student, in any of our schools, we would have immediately requested all schools be closed until our investigation was complete," Gifford said in a news release.

Police said a student made a statement that was immediately dealt with. Gifford said rumors of specific violence threatened, hit lists and threats of shootings that began to spread throughout the community were "fanned by fears of recent tragedy [in Newtown, Conn.] and disseminated on social media networks" and are untrue.

The district posted information about the possible JHS threat on its website.

Greater Johnstown School District Robert DeLilli said he spoke to Gifford and Mayor Sarah Slingerland regarding the needs and security of the district schools.

Additionally, in the coming days, he said he will meet with security experts regarding school safety. An architect has been invited to review each entryway and see what could be improved, he said.

DeLilli thanked the police and said anyone who has information regarding this incident, or any others, should offer that information to police.



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