Police Investigate Fourth Threat This Month At Union County College

Authorities have deemed the threat a hoax.

In what has become somewhat of a regular occurance, Cranford campus was visited by law enforcement personnel again this afternoon following a threat that was received by the school.

"Union County College’s Public Safety issued an 'all clear' at 3:30 p.m. after sweeping the Cranford campus in response to this nebulous threat," said Stephen D. Nacco, Vice President & Executive Assistant to the President.

Nacco said the college received a "vague phone threat" at approximately 2 p.m. today. The college's Public Safety Department "took appropriate action for a Level I threat," Nacco said.

According to the handbook used by the college to handle public safety incidents, a Level I threat is described as a "hoax caller; probability of threat being real is less than 2 percent." The handbook also states that "98 percent of all bomb threats are hoaxes; typically the caller is standing or parked nearby to see the reaction of your facility; panic is what he/she hopes to cause. Assume he/she
has a bomb until you know he doesn’t."

The guide goes on to list the procedures that must be followed if and when a threat is received. Today's incident marks the fourth time this month that a threat has been received by the UCC Cranford campus. So far,

As with the other calls, Nacco said county law enforcement personnel and the FBI were contacted. Police checked the buildings along with members of the campus security team and determined that the threat was another hoax.

In a recent letter to students and staff following a minor smoke condition inside a classroom in the Science Building, UCC President Margaret M. McMenamin called the continuous threats "an unfortunate sign of the times."

"We continue to work with law enforcement to investigate the recent bomb threats on the Cranford Campus. As evidenced by the recent spate of similar hoaxes at the Universities of Pittsburgh, Delaware, and Maine, this aberrant behavior has become an unfortunate sign of the times. Please be assured that we will remain vigilant as we follow our emergency management plan in our response," McMenamin said in the letter.

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Corrine April 25, 2012 at 03:03 AM
I was at the campus today and I wasn't evacuated this time. I think they're hoping if we don't respond the calls will stop.
Jay April 25, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Whoever is calling in these threats is an abject fool. S/He risks serious prison time and HUGE restitution/fines (on the order of the the full public expense of each emergency response) that will haunt him/her for the rest of his/her life. For what? A prank? Before placing another prank call, whoever is doing this should think long and hard about how seriously LEO and FBI take these kind of threats since VTech. Being a juvenile will not protect him/her from FEDERAL charges of domestic terrorism. (The use of a telephone elevates it to a Federal offense). Pretty stupid behavior.
Daniel M April 25, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Two words: So What! Why are false alarms at Union County College worthy of "Breaking News Alerts"? Whether it's malicious or not, I don't think it should be such a high priority for the Summit Patch.
Michele April 25, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Jennifer, I'm sure the college is doing what it can and I'm sure the police are involved. It may take some time but eventually he will be caught and the consequences for FOUR of these threats are very high. Outside of letting the police handle it there is not much that the college can do.
Brendan Galligan April 26, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Since the threats seem to come in around the same time/day every week, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out who is behind it. You can probably narrow it down to less than 20 people if the school looks into which professor has rescheduled the same exam every week for the last month...


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