(Editor’s Note: The following story is based on a press release issued by the Saugus Police Department.)
The Saugus Police Department responded to an incident of swatting that briefly interrupted classes at Saugus High School.
On Wednesday (Feb. 15) at 1:09 p.m., Saugus Police received a call from an unknown male who claimed to have a firearm and an intent to do harm to those at Saugus High School, according to Police Chief Michael Ricciardelli. All available Saugus Police Officers responded immediately to Saugus High School, which was immediately placed into lockdown in accordance with preestablished policies and procedures. Saugus Police searched both the building and grounds of Saugus High School to ensure there were no unauthorized individuals on the campus, and they quickly determined the call was one of more than a dozen hoax calls that have been made across the Commonwealth so far this week. Classes at Saugus High School returned to normal approximately 29 minutes after the lockdown was put into place.
“I am pleased by the quick and coordinated response that both Saugus Police and Saugus Public Schools had to this incident, and I’m relieved to report that the call was just a hoax,” said Chief Ricciardelli.
“We nevertheless responded in accordance with preestablished policies and procedures that we have rehearsed together before because the safety and security of students and staff in Saugus Public Schools is our top priority,” the chief said.
“Swatting,” according to Oxford Languages is “the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.”