NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The New Rochelle Police Department responded to a report of three intruders at New Rochelle High School. The incident occurred on Monday around lunchtime. The police were called at 12:45 p.m. Three high-school age youths from Port Chester were taken into custody by police. No arrests were made. Despite repeated assurances to parents regarding a tightening of school security measures, the three intruders managed to get deep inside the building and, once detected, no lockdown occurred.
"Three trespassers were found at the high school at House Two," said New Rochelle Police Detective Captain Joseph Schaller.
UPDATE 1/17: Sources tell Talk of the Sound that Security Officer Paul Sarachelli detained the three intruders and contacted Security Director Bruce Daniele after the three intruders refused to leave the building. Sarachelli was instructed to contact Assistant Principal Joseph Starvaggi to get approval to call the New Rochelle police. There was a delay of approximately one hour before authorization was given to call the police.
The New Rochelle High School Draft/Proposed/Template/Safety Plan contains a section on what to do in such an event.
INTRUDER-DANGEROUS PERSON IN AREA—LOCKDOWN/LOCKOUT
An intruder or dangerous person has entered the building
- Call 911 immediately.
- Provide as much information as possible about the threat to law enforcement.
- Notify the Principal’s office.
- Issue a plain language Lockdown announcement over the PA system: “We are in a lockdown.”
- Teachers then follow lockdown procedures:
- Pull in any students from hallway, lock doors, turn lights off and move students to a section of the classroom out of line-of-sight of the window in the door.
- Leave window shades to the outside up
- Inform students of lockdown procedures including no use of cell phones or computers and remaining quiet.
- Take student attendance.
- Security staff needs to be positioned behind locked doors as well.
- Staff and students outside at the time of the lockdown must not return to the building, but should immediately proceed to the designated “safe area” away from the school building.
- Principal or designee notifies Superintendent’s Office.
- Building remains in lockdown until law enforcement and principal determine that it is safe to resume school activities.
- Police and school administrators will go to each classroom to issue the “all clear” signal room-by-room (not over the PA system).
- After the incident is resolved, the Building Safety Team will debrief and consult with the Superintendent’s Office to determine appropriate communication to staff, students, and parents.
- CIT will be convened and a faculty meeting will be held after the debriefing at the end of the school day, if possible.
- All media requests will be forwarded to the District Communications & Media Specialist.
Although police were called, no lockdown announcement was made and the school did not go on lockdown.
On January 3rd, a man wearing a Zorro mask entered Jefferson School during which the school failed to follow its INTRUDER-DANGEROUS PERSON security procedures. Rather than call 911 and go on lockdown, School Principal Kimmerly Nieves invited the intruder into her office, met with him and then allowed him to leave the building. Nieves later called School Security Director Bruce Daniele who in turn called New Rochelle police with a report of a "dangerous person" by which point the person was long gone. Police officers were deployed to search for the person. Police located the person, questioned him and released him.