Bomb Threats in Bergen County

In January, almost a dozen schools received robocalls: automated phone calls reporting threats of mass shootings and bombings. Multiple schools in Bergen County were shut down and thousands of students were impacted. Some of the towns affected were Garfield, Hackensack, Englewood, Leonia and Fort Lee, among many others. The problem of threatening calls to schools has become a severe issue.

In response, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office decided to hold a conference to address the situation and figure out how to handle it. This January, 206 bomb threats were received by schools nationwide. Some schools even received multiple bomb threats in a day and were forced to evacuate each time. This is not something that can be ignored.

So what exactly happened? Robocalls were delivered to schools early in the morning. These calls threatened bombings and mass shootings. Schools were either evacuated or put into lockdown. Police investigations found that the calls were coming from Bakersfield, California, though the calls could have really been made from anywhere.

These calls were, allegedly, a hoax. No school found evidence of bombs or any real threat. So the question now is, why? Who placed these calls and what was his or her intention?

Law enforcement and schools across the country agree that something must be done about this dilemma. Hopefully they act fast. We need to be aware of these “robocalls” and practice what we have been taught in response.