Verona High School students took to Twitter this morning to report that police officers and drug-sniffing dogs were at the school, checking lockers.
The Verona Police Department has just issued a press release on the activity, which you can read below. They called the event a “medical lockdown drill” and said it had been in the planning for 18 months. The police had to get permission from both the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the superintendent, Steve Forte. Ten police officers and two dogs were involved in the drill, which the release says “did not yield the presence of illegal substances in any hallway locker”.
June 5, 2013
Dear Parents and Guardians:
This morning, a medical lockdown drill was conducted in conjunction with the Verona Police Department, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office at Verona High School. Once medical lockdown procedures were announced to the student body and staff, a K-9 inspection of the student hallway lockers for illegal substances was conducted by members of the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Essex County K-9 unit and the Verona Police Department. At no time during the medical lockdown drill period were any students or staff members at risk.
We were pleased that the K-9 inspection did not yield the presence of illegal substances in any hallway locker. We would like to thank our students for their cooperation during the medical lockdown period. Their efforts allowed for instruction to continue and for the K-9 inspection to proceed without incident.
Please understand that today’s K-9 inspection was not the result of any specific event. Employees of the Verona Police Department, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Essex County Sheriff’s Office, and the Verona Board of Education have been planning arrangements for today’s K-9 inspection for the past eighteen months. Once authorization was ultimately given by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, today’s date was selected to conduct the K-9 inspection. Today’s inspection was conducted in support of our continued efforts in providing for the safety and security of our students. Similar K-9 inspections have been conducted at other Essex County schools in recent years.
You may contact the Superintendent’s Office at (973) 571-2029, ext. 7012 or the Verona Police Department at (973) 239-5000 with any further questions or concerns.
Chief Doug Huber
Superintendent Steven Forte