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Police chief vows prosecution, restitution for Ridgewood school ‘swatting’ threat

Photo Credit: Boyd A. Loving): Ridgewood Police Capt. Jackie Luthcke, Principal Dr. Katie Kashmanian (above), Officers Raymond Tarino and Kevin McKeon (top
Photo Credit: Boyd A. Loving): Ridgewood Police Capt. Jackie Luthcke, Principal Dr. Katie Kashmanian (above), Officers Raymond Tarino and Kevin McKeon (top)

UPDATE: Ridgewood Police Chief John Ward vowed to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law and seek full reimbursement for a full-scale response this morning to a bogus report of a gunman on the roof of George Washington Middle School.

The all-clear was given around 10:20 a.m., less than a half hour after the call forced a brief lockdown and response from various law enforcement agencies (The West Side Presbyterian Church, which operates a nursery school, also briefly went into lockdown).

“A call was received of a possible threat to the school,” Ward told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “The school went into lockdown and we activated our procedures for responding to a potential active shooter.

“We secured the perimeter, checked the entire school and deemed the threat unfounded.”

Ward said the “training and drills we’ve done with our Board of Education and the students proved very effective. The staff members and all of the youngsters did an outstanding job ensuring the lockdown went exactly according to plan.

“We also got instant response from several other local and county agencies,” he said, including Glen Rock, Midland Park and Wyckoff police as well as village firefighters.

Investigators were tracing leads, mindful of the escalating number of swatting incidents across the country — in which callers from out of the area make what appear to be local threatening calls that bring massive emergency responses to schools and businesses.

“The resources that have to be placed into something like this are extensive,” Ward said. “So you can be sure that we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law and seek full financial reimbursement to the village.”

The chief asked that anyone with information that could help the investigation call village detectives: ( 201) 251-4536

CVP PHOTOS (Boyd A. Loving): Ridgewood Police Capt. Jackie Luthcke, Principal Dr. Katie Kashmanian (above), Officers Raymond Tarino and Kevin McKeon (top)

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