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Bomb Threats Temporarily Close Roosevelt Middle School, JCC

Both the school and JCC reopened after being evacuated for close to 90 minutes, authorities said.

Bomb threats at both Roosevelt Middle School and the Jewish Community Center forced the evacuation of both buildings Monday, police said. 

Both buildings reopened about 90 minutes later after they were deemed safe by the county bomb squad. 

At around 9:48 a.m., a call came in from an anonymous man, claiming to have planted a bomb in the school and the JCC, according to West Orange police Sgt. John Palardy.  Police alerted officials in both buildings, who implemented their emergency protocol plans.

Members, staff and approximately 240 children in the JCC preschool program were evacuated,  according to the emergency plan.  The children were escorted to the Jewish Community House, adjacent to the JCC, said a JCC staff member.  The students were allowed to return around 11:15 a.m. after the building was searched by law enforcement personnel.

"Having already increased regular patrols through our property in the past several weeks, the West Orange Police will be further increasing their surveillance of our facilities, effective immediately," said JCC Metrowest CEO Alan Friedman in a statement following the incident.

At Roosevelt Middle School, the students and faculty evacuated to nearby Gregory Elementary School.  The students remained out of the building for roughly 90 minutes, from 10:15-11:45 a.m.

"We do drills every month," said Interim Superintendent Jim O'Neill.  "This shows that doing those drills worked well as we were well trained to respond appropriately."

The Essex County Sheriff's Department, Essex County Bomb Squad and the K-9 Patrol responded to both buildings.  The occupants of each building were not cleared to return until the bomb squad finished their sweep of the building.

"They took every precaution they can to make sure there was no threat to the safety of anybody in either location," Palardy said about the bomb squad.  "It obviously took some time to clear and go through each location, but everything worked out."

West Orange Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

ari December 04, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Do you guys think its the smartest thing to publish where people were evacuated to, so if this was a test run, a bad guy now knows the locations emergency plans and evacuation locations?
Ken December 04, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Wouldn't a theoretical bad guy have just WATCHED to see where the people were evacuated to, rather than depending on Patch reporting?
john anthony prignano December 04, 2012 at 04:45 AM
Ari, you are absolutely correct. Perhaps the theoretical bad guy phoned in the threats, watched where the JCC children were evacuated to, then drove over to the Roosevelt School and observed where those students were evacuated { a grammar school in session ! } or vice- versa. That is, of course, if the bad guy was in the immediate area in the first place, I seriously doubt he was depending on Patch for the information. I believe it's much more likely that Patch has made a huge mistake which this bad guy or some other bad guy{s} might be able to use in the future to their advantage. Rule number one; NEVER give out more information than is absolutely necessary. Ari, you are 100% correct!
ari December 04, 2012 at 01:29 PM
I can't really tell if you guys are being sarcastic or not, but why publish this info anyway? Why make it easy for someone to get it? What if this whole incident makes some new person now think up the idea and puts a device in the evacuation locations, while calling a threat into the main building? Our media constantly puts people at risk by publishing too much information not necessary for a story. It was done by Eric Rudolph in an abortion clinic in Birmingham, AL.
buttercrunch December 04, 2012 at 02:35 PM
It doesn't seem strange to anyone that a bomb threat was called in to the school and JCC at the same time and a short time after that a bank was robbed - the teller was held at gunpoint up on Pleasant Valley Way? It seems obvious to me that they called in the threats to distract the police so they could pull off the robbery. Maybe I just watch too many of those police shows.
Erika December 04, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Some people like to watch what they have created. They would be watching. That's why they are called crazies. Think about it.
Erika December 04, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I live in West Orange. That's life. Their parents should have beat them. Dumb people shouldn't be allowed to have kids. Crazy people are everywhere these days.
Tom G. December 04, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Let's not overreact. When is the last time you heard of someone calling in a bomb threat and actually had a bomb go off? People do this as a scare tactic.
john anthony prignano December 04, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Ari You are 100% correct.
ari December 04, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Hey Tom, do you know that there was a bomb in WO? 300 Pleasant Valley Way, in the late 70's.
Tom G. December 05, 2012 at 03:13 AM
@Ari - no, I did not know that, but that was over 30 years ago. There have probably been hundreds of bomb scares throughout the town over the last 3 or 4 decades. That's my point.
ari December 05, 2012 at 12:08 PM
All it takes is one tom
Ken December 29, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Did anyone ever get caught for this?

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