Police and the FBI are investigating a series of threats made against several schools across New York, including in Batavia. While the threats have been deemed non-credible, law enforcement officials are taking them seriously and the FBI is now involved in the investigation. According to police, John Kennedy Intermediate School in Batavia, a school in Steuben County, another in Erie County, and a school downstate were all targeted in what police believe are swatting threats.
The Batavia Police Department received the first threat just after 7:30 a.m. on Friday and, along with the sheriff’s office and New York State Police, responded to John Kennedy Intermediate School on Vine Street. The building was cleared and no threat was found. There were no students at the school due to February break.
The Batavia police chief said similar threats were made to schools in Colorado the day before, and authorities believe this is a case of swatting, where a person calls 911 with false information to get law enforcement to respond to the location.
“We wanted to make sure this wasn’t someone testing our response or something like that and making sure we’re attentive to the other buildings,” Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch told News10NBC. “So we did send officers to each building, including the private schools in the city.”
As a precaution, other schools in the district and county were also searched. The FBI is now involved in the investigation as the threats targeted schools across state lines.
The Batavia City School District issued a statement to the community, saying that no credible threat was found, and all schools were checked as a precaution. The district’s sports practices, events, and club activities will continue as planned throughout the weekend, and there will be increased police presence as a safety precaution.
The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is urged to contact law enforcement.
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