June 18, 2018
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Police combing through evidence in UMPI bomb threat case

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Classes resumed as scheduled at the University of Maine at Presque Isle Friday after a bomb threat interrupted classes on Thursday afternoon, and police are sifting through evidence on their way to finding the culprit.

The threat was received just before 1 p.m., and steps were immediately taken to secure the campus. All of the buildings were evacuated, secured and searched.

By 4:30 p.m. the campus had been cleared and students were allowed to return. Classes resumed a short time later.

Presque Isle Police Deputy Chief Laurie Kelly said Friday that police believe the culprit is male but they do not believe the caller was a student, staff or faculty member at UMPI.

The bomb threat was called in using the Internet, not with a regular telephone or cellphone. Kelly said that some evidence is leading police to believe that the culprit may be part of the computer or video gaming community. They are conducting forensic computer searches to garner more information.

Don Zillman, president of the university, said in a written statement Friday that he was pleased with the thorough investigation conducted by law enforcement.

“We could wish that we were immune from such incidents in the modern world but we know better,” he said. “Law enforcement officers continue their search for the perpetrator. She or he will face serious, and possibly federal, felony charges when caught.”

Zillman said the campus was using the opportunity to examine its response to such incidents and has started a review of campus procedures for this and other emergency situations.

“We expect these reviews will update existing system and campus policies,” he said. “Looking back at yesterday’s experiences, though, leaves us feeling good about our ability to quickly alert everyone through our campus emergency notification system and campus email. We were very pleased with the campus community’s calm and orderly response to the situation.”

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