Police: Threatening Note at Saxe May Have Been There for Several Days

Anyone with information related to the threat is encouraged to call the New Canaan Police Department's anonymous tip line at 203-594-3544.


Police say it isn't clear when the note that last week led to a perimeter lockdown and supervised dismissal at Saxe Middle School was placed there.

No details about the note's contents have been released as police continue to investigate. Sgt. Carol Ogrinc of the New Canaan Police Department said Monday that the note had violent overtones—"We deemed it not to be an imminent threat," she said—and that officials are seeking tips through an anonymous tip line that can be reached at 203-594-3544.

"We are unsure if the threat was placed on that day [Thursday]," Ogrinc said. "It could have been there for several days."

The discovery of the note by an adult faculty member at Saxe occured early in the afternoon on Thursday, which also was March 14—three months to the day, Dec. 14, that 20 first-graders and six educators were shot dead at a school in Newtown.

Ogrinc said that although there likely is heightened awareness and response around schools because of the Sandy Hook shooting, New Canaaan police executed the same protocol last week that they would have one year ago, including the "soft lockdown" of the school and search of its rooms, closets and other areas with bomb-sniffing dogs.

District officials communicating with parents have said in emails that police were present at school Friday as a measure of reassurance only. The district has called for understanding from parents seeking more specific information about the threat itself, as the police investigation remains active.

runner62 March 18, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Doesn't make sense that Saxe would be locked down and students kept within the building rather than evacuated in the event of a bomb threat requiring bomb sniffing dogs. Now the note could have been left for several days, meaning the threat could have existed for days? I appreciate the need for the ongoing investigation and some information being kept confidential, at the same time some transparency and explanation would be helpful to parents to understand how the safety of their children is being guaranteed. On a separate note, how would the security guards that will be hired at great tax-payer expense have helped in this situation?
Canaanite March 18, 2013 at 07:23 PM
I wrote this in another thread . . . There is no way for any authorities to have known exactly when the threat was harmless on that day, otherwise they wouldn't have been there at all . . . Therefore, ALL students should have been quickly and *immediately* removed from the building and taken far away from the vicinity. Specific details notwithstanding, there is no reason at all to have left any students inside while there was any uncertainty at all.
Canaanite March 18, 2013 at 07:25 PM
What the heck is a "soft lockdown" anyway? Can someone provide an explanation? And why isn't a "hard lockdown" far more prudent in the face of a possible threat? Either a credible threat exists or it doesn't. Either you evacuate or you don't.
Reverend Barbara Sexton March 18, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Law Enforcement is having a reasonably and understandably difficult time in assessing and responding to all school security threats, especially post-Sandy Hook. Everyone, civilian and not, naturally has a heightened sense of awareness. My prayerful suggestion is that parents cooperate with police protocols currently in place...be reasonably flexible as these protocols 'evolve'...and remember that, besides being 'first responders', may LEO's are also parents of school-aged kids. They've a vested interest, as we all do, as parents and grandparents, teachers, aunts, uncles and others who wish only the best for our precious children. Being safe is our world today is a messy, messy business.
Glen K Dunbar March 19, 2013 at 12:03 AM
I have to concurr w/Babs. In situations like this and before it is best to cooperate w/the Police fully. They too have Families.
Patchmaker March 19, 2013 at 01:17 AM
Wait, I am confused. Last month, you said "It's entirely UNREASONABLE for school to shut down at the whim of the Superintendent" when school was cancelled due to a snow storm and now you seem to advocating that this same Superintendent should have overridden local authorities and "ALL students should have been quickly and immediately removed from the building." If only those charged with making difficult decisions, real-time possessed the same caliber of all knowing powers. If only.
Canaanite March 19, 2013 at 08:05 PM
What is there to be confused about? Firstly, I never said the superintendent should override authorities . . . I don't know what the authorities said exactly. But if they *did* suggest that some kids stay in school right after the start of the investigation stemming from the threat of that letter - before they could have possibly known that things would be safe (and I am arguing that they could *not* have known that at that point in time, bc if they *knew* things were safe, they wouldn't have been there!) - then it's the AUTHORITIES who should have evacuated the school as a precaution and been done with it. (And I would think they override the school superintendent in an emergency, but I don't know?) A snow day and a possibly life-threatening emergency are NOT one in the same! The LACK of all-knowing powers is precisely the issue . . . and exactly my point . . . If they didn't *know* everything was safe, then HOW could they have allowed kids to stay in school?


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