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The original item was published from 3/21/2018 4:37:46 PM to 3/28/2018 4:05:04 PM.

News Flash


Posted on: March 21, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Papermill School Evacuation


Recently there was an incident at Papermill School where the school was evacuated and both the police and fire departments were on hand to do an assessment of a threat. After an assessment the threat was deemed to be not credible based on the nature of the threat.

The Westfield Police Department's policy on releasing information to the public is that as long is there is an ongoing investigation the particulars of the investigation will not be released until there is a credible threat or an arrest has been made or someone is criminally charged.

Springfield's policy states "the department will not release statements about such school threats unless the threat is determined to be credible and/or an arrest has been made."

Since the police department is not notified of "robo" calls by the school department, we have no way of knowing what was said during those calls. We are working to change that. This particular instance was no different.

It is my understanding that a "robo" call was generated and it was sent after the children were sent home. Unfortunately because of the late hour, by the time people heard the call and tried to contact the school department it had already closed. Parents then started calling the police department and were frustrated that they did not receive the information they were looking for. Matters that occur in the schools are the purview of the school department and it is up to them to release the information they deem fit. The exception would be if there was an immediate risk to public safety. In this instance it was deemed not to be for a variety of reasons.

I can assure you we will do everything possible to protect your children from harm. My office was in contact with the police department throughout the evening, and I was also monitoring social media as well. Granted, we are living in difficult times, but common sense assessments still have to rule the day.

Captain Michael McCabe

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