UPDATE: Bomb scare evacuates Hess, Shaner

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Charlie Pritchard / Students at the Atlantic County Institute of Technology in Mays Landing, who were in lockdown since the start of the incident, were escorted to their buses by Atlantic County Sheriff's officers at their 2:30 PM dismissal time. Charlie Pritchard / Students at the Atlantic County Institute of Technology in Mays Landing, who were in lockdown since the start of the incident, were escorted to their buses by Atlantic County Sheriff's officers at their 2:30 PM dismissal time. HAMILTON TOWNSHIP  The Hess School and the Shaner School were evacuated today (Tuesday, feb. 4) as police investigated what was initially called an undisclosed threat at Hess. All students and staff are safe, according to the school district and police.

The county courthouse and Atlantic County Institute of Technology were also affected. A Sheriff's Department officer at the scene later confirmed that it was a bomb theat.

Police are "continuing to act on information they received concerning the Hess School. Police have also responded to the Shaner School after receiving additional information," read a 2:30 p.m. update from the Hamilton Township Police Department Nixle public information system.

Students from Hess School were evacuated to the William Davies Middle School and will be dismissed from there. Shaner students are currently being evacuated to the St. Vincent de Paul School and were dismissed from that location.

At about 12:30 the Township of Hamilton Police Department announced that no one was permitted in the Hess School while it was "acting on information" it received concerning the school. 

"All students and staff are safe. However, no one is permitted inside the building until the situation has been resolved," read the initial statement from HTPDThe afternoon preschool session was also canceled for the day.

Police are investigating a "vague threat," according to Capt. Mike Petuskey, executive officer and emergency management coordinator for the police department.

According to a notice from the Hamilton Township School District, Hess School was evacuated by order of the police department to allow a full investigation at the school. Students were being bussed to the Davies School where they would remain until the normal Hess School dismissal time. Parents who would like to pick up their child were advised they can do so at 2:30 at the Davies main entrance. 

The Shaner School was also evacuated, according to an announcement on the school district website. Students were housed at the St Vincent de Paul School and were to be dismissed at the regular Shaner time from St Vincent's. Kids Corner was also being held at St Vincent's.

"Please know that all students are safe," stated the district announcement. "If you would like to pick up your child, you can do so at the St Vincent de Paul School."

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Charlie Pritchard / Evacuees linger outside the Atlantic County Courthouse in Mays Landing as K-9 officers and their bomb-sniffing dogs search the building. Charlie Pritchard / Evacuees linger outside the Atlantic County Courthouse in Mays Landing as K-9 officers and their bomb-sniffing dogs search the building.

 


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