About 500 students and 50 staff at Lacombe’s Ecole James S. McCormick School were evacuated on Monday morning after a bomb threat was found scrawled on an outside wall.
Lacombe Police Service was notified after the spray-painted message that there was a bomb inside the school was discovered about 8:30 a.m. Four police officers were dispatched immediately to the school.
“While there was little evidence to suggest the threat was real, the safety of the children and staff was the paramount concern so a decision was made early on to evacuate the students from J.S. McCormick to nearby Lacombe Upper Elementary School,” says a release from Lacombe police and Wolf Creek Public Schools.
The orderly evacuation took about 10 minutes and then police searched the school with the help of a Red Deer RCMP dog team. Nothing unusual was found.
Wolf Creek officials decided not to send the children back to the school, and parents were called and buses brought in to take students home.
Lacombe Police Service Insp. Steve Murray took a dim view of the hoax and whoever was behind it.
“Several hundred people had their lives uprooted today because of these knuckleheads,” he said.
He compared it to people who foolishly make jokes about bombs in airport security checkpoint lines.
“With everything that’s going on it’s so callous and so irresponsible to make any sort of comment like that about a public school. It’s almost reprehensible the grief that these people or person put the parents through today.
“So we’ve got to treat it pretty serious.”
Police continue to investigate and anyone with information is asked to call Lacombe police at 403-782-3279 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or report it online at www.tipsubmit.com.