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Threat of Armed Man on School Grounds Not Credible, Cops Say

Parsippany schools were locked down Tuesday morning for nearly an hour.

The threat of a man walking on the campus of Brooklawn Middle School wielding an assault rifle was deemed not credible by police after area schools were put on lockdown Tuesday morning, Parsippany Police Chief Paul Phillips announced.

At 10:30 a.m. officials at Brooklawn Middle School received a report of a man wearing a tan jacket and blue jeans, carrying an assault rifle, Phillips said. At that time officers proceeded to lockdown Brooklawn Middle School, Parsippany Hills High School, Littleton School, and Parsippany Christian School.

Officers then set up a perimeter around Brooklawn, and more units were stationed at the other schools to provide security, Phillips said. 

The ensuing investigation revealed no tracks in the area and a K-9 Unit could not pick up any scent, Officer Earl Kinsey said. All vehicles in the area were also checked, and the neighborhood was canvassed, with individuals in the area being interviewed, with no report of anyone fitting the description, Kinsey said.

After an investigation revealed the threat was not credible, the lockdown at all schools was lifted, Phillips said. 

The Morris County Sheriff’s Department, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris Plains Police Department, Hanover Township Police Department, Par-Troy EMS, Lake Parsippany District 3 Fire Department and Parsippany’s Office of Emergency Management all assisted in the incident.

For questions about this post, email jason.koestenblatt@patch.com.

Wilnj February 12, 2014 at 09:05 AM
I appreciate that these are very difficult situations to manage but to send out a half baked message is worse. They have the tools to notify the public appropriately, it takes a few seconds longer to type out the name of the affected schools instead of putting the parents of all 14 schools on edge unnecessarily.
Sue February 12, 2014 at 09:23 AM
Honesty is always the best policy. And while there are times that certain details cannot be released for security reasons, the information that was provided on this incident certainly left a lot to be desired. Being less than,shall we say, forthcoming, breeds mistrust and erodes confidence. It also produces unintended and often undesired consequences. For example, in talking with the other parents, one of our takeaways for this whole event was that we need to find out for ourselves what is going on the next time we are told there is a "non-threatening" lockdown and not to contact the school. Instead of getting defensive, let's home that the Par Police and Board of Ed review the communications protocol and come up with a better plan. If this is "by the book", we definitely need a new chapter.
Lauren February 12, 2014 at 10:47 AM
What does that mean "NOT CREDIBLE" Someone please tell me.
Wilnj February 12, 2014 at 04:23 PM
Lauren, it means they're not saying the what the person who made the initial report didn't see something but that they couldn't find the evidence to make them believe the report was accurate.
Selene February 12, 2014 at 06:03 PM
OMG you helicopter parents need to pop a Xanax.......Parsippany is one the safest communities because of our police and schools cooperating all the time. You should be a little more concerned about your child's work ethics, his/her commitment to social issues and his/her commitment to community.......

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