Rider receives nonspecific bomb threat over spring break

By Sarah Siock

After receiving notice of a nonspecific bomb threat on March 16 during spring break, Rider is cooperating with the Lawrence Township and Haddonfield Police Departments in an investigation of the incident, according to Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Communications Kristine Brown. 

Public Safety’s university-wide communication from March 16 said no location or time of detonation was given, and that law enforcement did not believe the threat to be credible. Lawrence Township Police Lt. Chris Longo confirmed that the threat involved a juvenile from overseas, but he said the investigation determined “there was no credibility to it.”

Public Safety notified the Rider community about the threat in compliance with the “Timely Warning” provision of the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998. 

According to CleryCenter.org, colleges and universities must use timely warnings and emergency notifications to inform the campus community of potential threats against which they can take preventive measures.

“There was no immediate threat to campus. Under the provisions of the Clery Act, Rider issued a Timely Warning, and out of abundance of caution, we did add extra patrols,” Director of Public Safety James Waldon said to The Rider News.

According to Brown, an external law enforcement agency contacted Rider’s Public Safety Department on March 16 to inform the university of the nonspecific threat. 

“We take these threats very seriously and remind everyone that campus safety is a shared responsibility. If you see something, say something,” said Brown.

Incidents of bomb threats are not common at Rider. However, in 2007 Rider received a bomb threat on Sept. 10 via email that warned of an explosion planned for the following day. That year more than 60 universities received similar threats near the same date. 

Public Safety’s email provided tips of what action to take if an individual encounters a suspicious item, which included remaining calm, not touching the item and contacting Public Safety or the police immediately.  

To report suspicious activity or people, call Public Safety at 609-896-5029.

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