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Swatting Incident Locks Down Schools In 10 Bergen, Passaic Districts

Emergency officials were at Fair Lawn High School Tuesday morning. Fair Lawn was one of eight districts in Bergen and Passaic that received threats.
Emergency officials were at Fair Lawn High School Tuesday morning. Fair Lawn was one of eight districts in Bergen and Passaic that received threats. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

HACKENSACK, N.J. – Schools in 10 districts in Bergen and Passaic counties went on lockdown Tuesday morning after threats from the same automated source were received at each.

In Bergen County, 11 dogs searched 26 school buildings in all, completing the task by 1 p.m., Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino told Daily Voice.

Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood and schools in Bergenfield, Clifton, Hackensack, Fair Lawn, Garfield, Leonia, New Milford, Teaneck and Tenafly all received threats from the same automated caller, he said.

"All came from the same Skype number," Saudino told Daily Voice. "They came in overnight. As people came to school this morning, they found the messages and began reporting them."The caller said a bomb was set to go off and there would be a mass shooting, the sheriff said.

Saudino said the New Jersey State Police and other agencies were sending K-9 units to assist.

County prosecutor's detectives were investigating.

A similar "swatting" incident in November 2014 forced the evacuations of seven different schools n five Bergen towns. All of the calls came from the same place.

"It might be tempting to say this is a prank, just like the other ones, but we can't do that," Saudino said. "We must respond in full force as if it were a real threat. We have no choice. This involves the safety of our children."

Schools in several states around the country, including Massachusetts and Florida, reported similar incidents.

The Bergen County Bomb Squad also examined a suspicious package found in Teaneck that turned out to be harmless.

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