April 8, 2022 — On April 7, there was extra police presence around the Siuslaw High School campus related to a potential threat discredited by Florence Police Department.
Around 1 p.m. on Thursday, Florence Police dispatch received a call from an unknown person making a vague threat about a potential explosive device on Siuslaw High School’s campus.
The caller stated they were walking towards the high school, but their description of the school and exterior classroom number did not fit anything at the high school.
The caller did not call the high school or the district. They only called the Florence Police dispatch.
During the call, the caller described a black satchel or backpack containing an explosive device.
A thorough search was conducted of the SHS campus and no black bag, satchel or backpack was found outside any building.
No person fitting the caller’s own description was seen walking to or from any of the school buildings.
According to Siuslaw School District Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak, “from their accent and general speech; the call most likely originated outside of the area and possibly outside of the country.”
Before contacting the district, Florence Police had made a preliminary assessment and determined the threat credibility was extremely low.
Florence Police, with the assistance of the CTCLUSI Tribal Police, did their due diligence and patrolled campus and up and down Oak Street for the last few hours of the school day on Thursday.
With the assistance of police, school staff used the Department of Homeland Security Bomb Threat Checklist to record information and to prepare to make an initial assessment if a call were to come into a school office, which, as of Friday morning, it had not.
Police agencies use a similar screening process but have much more extensive training in making a threat determination.
Around 5:15 p.m. that afternoon, Grzeskowiak sent out an email to district parents detailing the incident.
“The school bomb threat procedure checklist is embedded into our general Emergency Preparedness Plan on page 29,” Grzeskowiak said. “The EPP handbook link is on the bottom of each school's main website page.”
For more information, visit siuslaw.k12.or.us.