Editor’s note: This story was updated on April 12 to reflect the Agora’s FOIA request for the incident report being denied. A paragraph about Charlie Abel not being contacted was also added.
MCCC students received an email Monday morning from MCCC President Kojo Quartey declaring a possible bomb threat posted on social media to be noncredible.
“Yesterday evening, a message indicating a possible bomb threat was sent to the Monroe County Community College Facebook page. College administration immediately contacted local law enforcement to assess the threat,” the email stated. “After a complete sweep of the facilities, the threat was deemed to be noncredible and the all-clear was given by local law enforcement at 3:24 a.m. The safety and security of our students and campus is of paramount importance.”
In an interview later in the morning, Quartey said he called 911 as soon as the threat was brought to his attention.
“About 10:30-11 last night, Joe Verkennes, our public relations person, saw on our Facebook page that there was an Instagram post where an individual had said they had a bomb and another individual said ‘I have one too,’ and said it was here on campus,” Quartey said. “And it appeared the original Instagram post was from 14 days ago, but then yesterday this other person responded. When I caught wind of that, I called 911.”
Quartey said after calling 911, he came to campus, where state troopers had brought dogs to sweep the campus.
“It was determined that it was a noncredible threat because nothing was found,” he said. “The entire campus was swept.”
Quartey said although he suspected the threat to be noncredible, he did not take it lightly as he considers the safety of students to be paramount.
Quarter said it is not currently known who made the threat and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating.
“We don’t take this lightly, even though it’s not a credible threat,” he said. “Still, it’s not a game.”
Joe Verkennes, college spokesman, said he was watching television with his family Sunday evening when he saw the threat.
“The timestamp on the message was about 10:38 p.m. and I looked at it at about 10:50,” he said. “And then immediately, I called my supervisor, who is Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success Scott Behrens.”
Verkennes said he took a screenshot of the message and sent it to Kojo Quartey, Scott Behrens and other cabinet members.
“I knew that law enforcement had to be called right away,” he said. “From there, law enforcement was called and Scott notified me he was heading up to campus and so was Kojo.”
Verkennes said he communicated with law enforcement on the scene several times to check the status of the situation.
Kiran Singh, a MCCC student, said the threat should have been addressed to students better.
“I think it should’ve been discussed more as an issue,” she said. “I feel like an email is just grazing over the top of the fact that we just got a bomb threat. It just wasn’t enough.”
Singh said she did not expect a threat like this to happen at MCCC.
“You never think it’s gonna happen until it does,” she said. “Anything can happen at any moment.”
Singh said she has felt this way since the shooting at Michigan State University in February.
“I’m kind of weary of things,” she said. “But I’m not living in fear.”
Chief of Safety Services Charlie Abel said he was not contacted during the incident.
The Agora’s FOIA request for a copy of the incident report from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office was denied due to the situation being “open and under investigation.”