Chicopee Comprehensive H.S. has been declared safe after what police are calling a hoax following a lockdown after reports of a suspicious person inside the school building.
Chicopee police officer Mike Wilk told 22News the high school was placed under lockdown around 1:50 p.m., less than 20 minutes before students were dismissed Friday.
According to Wilk, an investigation into the incident that prompted the evacuation revealed that the person who called to report the suspicious person did it as a hoax and that charges are now pending against that individual.
“We have protocols and procedures for incidents such as this and we will follow them,” Wilk told 22News.
Staff and students can now return to the building to pick up their belongings after the police investigation. Officer Wilk told 22News small groups will be escorted into the building until 10 p.m. Friday night, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Officers searched and cleared the building room by room after students were released to Lambert Lavoie School, where parents were able to reunite with their children.
Bus students from Chicopee Comp. are being organized on be Lawn of the Lavoie school to go home. Parents will be let inside in small groups to get non-bus students @WWLP22News pic.twitter.com/VY6bctwTGX— Hayley Crombleholme (@HayleyHolme) August 31, 2018
Lambert Lavoie School is located at 99 Kendall Street. An officer at the school announced that students who have their own cars there will not be able to access them ‘for a while.’ She advised parents to pick them up and worry about their students’ cars later.
At the time of the incident, Wilk said there were no confirmed reports of anyone inside the school. He said the alleged suspicious person was described as being dressed in all black. Wilk told 22News it was not known if the suspicious person had any weapons.
The entrance to the school’s parking lot was blocked off, with several cruisers remaining in the area. Surrounding streets were closed to traffic as police set up a perimeter.
“I realize some were upset about robocalls and notifications and I can understand your frustration, however, during a lockdown, staff cannot use phones,” Wilk explained.
Wilk added that no injuries were reported.
“I would like to stress that there is no danger to any students at this time,” he said.
Wilk added that all available officers and state police were at the school to help clear the building.
Friday was the first day of school for 10th -12th graders in Chicopee.