Calm response to bomb threat by police, SKSD

Port Orchard Police Chief Geoffrey Marti said he was pleased with the response from his department, school district and students during a May 2 bomb threat at South Kitsap High School.

Marti said the school district, students and police officers “responded well.”

“I was pretty happy on how things went,” said Marti. “It helped us work on communication between the school system and police department, and to make sure we respond in a way that works with the other entities.”

Marti said the response was “very orderly” and that most people would not have noticed there was anything different other than getting out a little bit early.

South Kitsap High School received a phone call at 12:30 p.m. from a male who said there were some explosives and possible firearms at SKHS, the largest high school in the state with more than 2,200 students.

Marti said the school’s resource officer contacted the police department about the bomb threat.

“We took some proactive measures and put some people in the area, basically checking the peripheral grounds to make sure it would be safe for the students to exit the school,” Marti said.

The school district decided to dismiss school about 1:30 p.m. while officers were in the area.

He contacted the U.S. Navy Region Northwest’s bomb squad, which brought in a pair of “bomb-sniffing” dogs to check inside and outside the school building.

“Once the students were out of the vicinity, we were able to use the dogs,” Marti said. “We did an interior and exterior sweep of the building and found nothing.”

Marti said the phone call was traced back to a Skype number, which is server-based and there can be multiple accesses to that number. He said it doesn’t appear the caller was local.

Superintendent Michelle Reid reported that SKHS students and staff followed emergency procedures and the evacuation occurred in a calm and organized manner.

“We take all threats seriously and will always do whatever it takes to keep our students and staff safe,” stated Reid on the district’s website. “The building has been carefully searched by law enforcement and will be monitored closely. We are working with law enforcement in our decision-making process as we move forward. Parents and students will be notified of any changes. Safety is our top priority. We will take all precautions to keep all staff and students safe.”

Automated calls were sent out from the district office. Students also took home letters about the incident.

The bomb threat canceled practice for the boys and girls track team.


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