Police: Two threats in one day at Patchogue-Medford High
Suffolk County police Monday responded to two bomb threats at Patchogue-Medford High School, the third since Friday and the fourth in six weeks, police and school officials said.
Randy Rusielewicz, principal of the high school, said police were notified once at 9:45 a.m. and again at 12:45 p.m.
In both instances the building was evacuated and police conducted searches, he said. Both searches, he said, came up empty and the students returned to the school.
Rusielewicz declined to disclose how the threats were delivered, citing an ongoing investigation. He said that they were perceived as a threats to the building.
Police took about an hour to check the building the first time and about 15 or 20 minutes to conduct the second search, he said.
Starting Tuesday, Rusielewicz said, the high school would be under heightened security, including closing all school lockers.
Making lockers inaccessible, he said, is one way to quicken search procedures in the event of a building search.
On Friday, high school students were evacuated after a bomb threat, at about 9:45 a.m. Police said they checked the school, and students and faculty were allowed to return at 10:20 a.m.
"Whenever there is disruption to the educational process, it's frustrating," Rusielewicz said Monday, between incidents. "We have seniors who are into their last days, and this is kind of a black mark for them."
The high school also was evacuated at about 8 a.m. on April 26 because of a bomb scare. After a police search, students and faculty were allowed back in the classrooms about an hour later.
Rusielewicz said the district will not tolerate such threats and if police uncover the culprit or culprits they would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Also Monday, Suffolk County police investigated a bomb threat in the Rocky Point Union Free School District, according to a statement posted at the district website. All four of the district's school buildings were searched by police and cleared for occupancy, the statement said, and all planned school activities were scheduled to take place as usual.