Police: Students’ social media posts put Pembroke Academy on heightened alert

Monitor staff
Published: 11/8/2019 12:19:18 PM
Modified: 11/8/2019 12:19:06 PM

Social media chatter among Pembroke Academy students about firearms caught the attention of police who initiated an investigation Thursday into possible threats against the school.

Pembroke Police Chief Dwayne Gilman said Friday morning that a thorough investigation found no evidence of an official threat made against the school. Officers also did not find any firearms on school property.

“The conversation on social media was taken way out of context,” Gilman said. “People started assuming what the conversation was about and it escalated from there.”

Gilman said the department’s investigation focused on one specific student, a minor. In the end, officers cleared the juvenile’s name and found no evidence of criminal activity.

The social media conversations began earlier in the week but Pembroke Academy first learned of them Thursday. As a precaution, the school notified parents that morning explaining the circumstances and the likelihood of an increased police presence at the school.

“We acted as quickly as we could have,” Gilman said. “We felt that the school was very safe yesterday. It was really a normal day for students, however, we had more officers there and more staff on alert.”

Gilman said the department’s officers have undergone significant training to prepare for active shooter situations given the occurrence of threats nationally.

“You don’t want to be that department or community that says, ‘I never thought it was going to happen here.’ ”

The investigation by Pembroke police comes just days after Concord police received word of a possible threat against the city’s high school. In that case, a concerning social media post was circulated among Concord High students on Snapchat and reported to law enforcement.

Now, two men face felony charges after police say they tampered with a former Concord High School student’s Facebook accounted and posted about a shooting imminent at the school. Kyle Slogic, 21, of Concord and his friend, Brandon Foster, 18, of Pittsfield, each face charges of conspiracy to commit criminal threatening, misuses of a computer or network and false public alarm. Police said Slogic was seeking revenge against a relative whose Facebook account the post was made on. However, police believe the men never intended to follow through on the threat.

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