DENVILLE, NJ - The Morris County Vocational School in Denville experienced a lockdown resulting from a social media threat that was passed along to the Denvlle Township Police Department at 7:35 this morning. Ultimately, law enforcement determed that the threat was not credible. No one was harmed.
Working in concert with the Morris County Sheriff's Office and Parsippany Police Department, the Denville Police thoroughly swept the entire school and found no credible threat according to Denville Captain Jeff Tucker. The investigation is ongoing, so Tucker was unable to share more details about the origins of the threat.
Scott Moffitt, superintendent of the Morris County Vocational School District, thanked the staff, community and law enforcement for their timely and professional responses. He stated that the students routinely undergo active shooter training under all scenarios and that the school works very closely with local law enforcement. He was certain the parents and students felt supported today and were the beneficiaries of all the training.
Moffitt shared that once a determination had been made that there was no credible threat, the school assembled the 100 or so students in the building as well as staff to explain what had happened. The school held a similar assembly for the parents. Students then had the option of staying at school or going home. Cars and buses then began to line up outside the school to pick up students.
Micah Westpy, a freshman studying sports medicine at Morris County Vocational School, was locked down for two hours. It all started when the school made an announcment to stand down, there's an active shooter, and most importantly, "This is not a drill!" Westpy was scared, especially when he had no phone service for approximately 30 minutes. He evenually was able to communicate with his parents, Nellie and Anthony Westpy, reassuring them that he was safe. I told my parents, "I'm okay. I'm with a retired officer who has a loaded gun."
"We got down here as fast as we could," Nellie and Anthony shared. "This is horrible. Your heart stops." Both parents praised the skilled work of law enforcement.
Also onsite was Andrew Caggiano, Montville chief of police and a VoTech parent. In addition to having a student currently enrolled in the school, he also has one who graduated from the school. Because of his law enforcement experience and experience with his first VoTech student, he knew the situation was in good hands. "I had confidence everyone knew what to do and where to go." He also took the time to thank the school staff and local and county law enforcement.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon was on hand and stated the lockdown was textbook perfect. He also commended local law enforcement and contributed the positive outcome to the cooperation and partnership that exist between law enforcement and the various school districts.
While no one was physically harmed, some were unnerved. Consequently, Moffitt reminded the parents, students and staff that services are available for anyone needing help to cope with the trauma.
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