NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – North Salem schools were put into lockout mode on Monday morning at 11:15 a.m., said Sgt. Andrew Brown of the North Salem Police Department.
George Bovino, the high school/middle school assistant principal, took the step as a precautionary measure when he was informed that Ridgefield, Conn., schools had been put into lockdown, said Brown.
A lockout procedure prevents unauthorized persons from entering a school and is commonly used when there is a general threat or incident in the area. The procedure allows school activities to continue as normal during the outside disruption.
“Inside the school routine continues unaffected,” said Superintendent of Schools Ken Freeston. “We simply do not allow visitors/guests into the building, and seniors may not leave campus."
The lockdown of the Ridgefield schools occurred when a suspicious person, dressed all in black and carrying what turned out to be an umbrella, was seen at or near the Branchville train station about 8 a.m.
Investigators arrived at the scene but found nothing suspicious. A police presence remains at each Ridgefield school today, as a safety measure.
The lockout at the North Salem schools was lifted at 11:55 a.m.
Sgt. Brown said that extra precautions will be taken in North Salem until Wednesday. These will include having a police officer present at arrival and dismissal times at every school and having an extra officer on duty patrolling from one school to another.