K-9s Search West Deptford High for Explosives, Police Say False Report

Superintendent Kevin Kitchenman and Cheif Craig Mangano sent a joint message out to notify parents Friday night.

A bomb threat at West Deptford High School sent police swarming there Friday, but the report was the work of a senior citizen in crisis, police said.

After a search by the West Deptford Police Department at the high school, Chief Craig Mangano and Superintendent of Schools Kevin Kitchenman sent out a joint message to the parents and guardians assuring them there is no threat to the school or students.

Kitchenman sent out a message via the district’s SchoolMessenger system—which delivers notifications to parents through email and through automated recordings—Friday evening.

In the recording, Mangano reported an elderly woman had made statements that she had placed explosives at the high school after officers had responded to her home shortly before midnight of the prior evening. At the time, the woman was a state of crisis. Mangano added the elderly woman has been in contact with the police department in the past.

After contacting school officials, the police department conducted a search of the school’s interior and exterior by employing several K-9 teams, before clearing the school.

Anyone who has questions regarding the incident is encouraged to contact Kitchenman or West Deptford High School principal Brian Gismondi.

Mangano was not immediately available for comment Friday night. 

The full message from Kitchenman and Mangano reads:

Good Evening.

This is a joint message from Mr. Kitchenman, superintendent of schools, and Chief Mangano, West Deptford Police Department. Shortly before midnight last evening, officers responded to the home of an elderly person in a state of crisis. The elderly person, who has had contact with the police department in the past, made statements that she had explosives placed at the high school. Due to the statements that were made, this department contacted school officials. A complete search of the interior and exterior of the high school was performed by several K-9 teams. As a result of that search, the school was cleared. The police department and school officials continue to work closely together to ensure the safety of our children. Should you have any questions about this incident please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Kitchenman or Dr. Gismondi. Thank you. 

Kevin A. Kitchenman
West Deptford Township Schools

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