UPDATE: Police Probing Assumption College After Bomb Threat
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The college has since evacuated all students, faculty, and staff; those with vehicles were told to go home while those without were given transportation to WPI. Assumption College will be closed on Wednesday October 15th and access to campus will be prohibited.
“You have entrusted us with a tremendous responsibility: the safety of your child. This is a responsibility we take very seriously. As a parent with a daughter in college hundreds of miles away, I can understand how the events of this evening may have caused you great concern,” said Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D. President of Assumption College. “In consultation with local law enforcement who responded to this threat and the College’s Office of Public Safety, I made the decision to evacuate the campus. I would like to express my gratitude to the students who calmly exited campus and College staff who helped to coordinate this undertaking.”
Updates from Assumption
-8:07AM UPDATE: Massachusetts State Police are conducting a building by building search with College Public Safety personnel. Law enforcement and senior College administrators remain on campus as the investigation continues. Students are reminded that classes are cancelled and the College remains closed until law enforcement provides assurance that it is safe for students to return to campus.
-5:00AM UPDATE: The Worcester Police Department and Assumption College Public Safety joint investigation continues at this time. Evacuated Assumption students at WPI comfortable and fed (Thanks to WPI Police for driving the students to local eateries.)
-3:25AM UPDATE: A room by room search of each dorm has concluded. All students have been evacuated. Members of the Worcester Police Department, Assumption Department of Public Safety and senior administrators are the only individuals remaining on campus at this time.
-2:12AM UPDATE: The College will be closed on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Access to campus is prohibited.
-2:10AM UPDATE: MESSAGE FROM ASSUMPTION COLLEGE PRESIDENT FRANCESCO C. CESAREO
Dear Assumption College Parents:
On Tuesday evening, an Assumption employee received an email that contained what was interpreted as a serious bomb threat against the College.
You have entrusted us with a tremendous responsibility: the safety of your child. This is a responsibility we take very seriously. As a parent with a daughter in college hundreds of miles away, I can understand how the events of this evening may have caused you great concern.
In consultation with local law enforcement who responded to this threat and the College’s Office of Public Safety, I made the decision to evacuate the campus. I would like to express my gratitude to the students who calmly exited campus and College staff who helped to coordinate this undertaking.
Students with vehicles were asked to go home and bring their friends if they do not live close to campus; students without a vehicle were transported by Worcester Regional Transportation Authority buses to Harrington Auditorium at nearby Worcester Polytechnic Institute. I would like to offer my gratitude to WPI for their hospitality to the many Assumption students who are spending the night at our neighboring institution of higher education.
I would also like to thank the Assumption College staff who are onsite at WPI. The Assumption staff will spend the evening with students and remain at WPI until law enforcement assures me that it is safe for students to return to campus.
Please know senior College administrators have been and will remain on campus throughout the night until this situation is resolved. We will continue to communicate with parents and students by the RAVE Alert System, the College website, www.assumption.edu and social media, www.facebook.com/assumptioncollege.
Thank you for your trust and confidence in our efforts to keep your child safe.
Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D.
-1:53AM UPDATE: Campus evacuation nearly complete. Campus Police and Residential Life staff conducting room by room search in each dorm to ensure all students have evacuated.
-12:45AM UPDATE: If parents would like to pick up their students they may do so at WPI's Harrington Auditorium.
-12:00 Midnight UPDATE: Busses will transport students to WPI from the Plourde Parking lot.
-11:55PM UPDATE: In consultation with law enforcement, as a precautionary matter, the campus will be evacuated so a search may commence. Classes are cancelled for tomorrow.
STUDENTS WITH VEHICLES ON CAMPUS
Students who live near campus and have vehicles are advised to go home. If a student can house friends, they are urged to do so.
STUDENTS WITHOUT VEHICLES ON CAMPUS
Students without vehicles will be transported to Harrington Auditorium at Worcester Polytechnic Institute where they will spend the night.
PARENTS WHO WISH TO PICK UP STUDENTS
Those parents who reside near campus and would like to pick their student up may do so at Harrington Auditorium at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Directions & Parking to WPI
Park Avenue Parking Garage at WPI GPS directions: 161 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA From I-290 Eastbound: Take Exit 17 (sign says Route 9), go up the exit ramp, take a left onto Belmont Street. Go 1/4 of a mile straight through Lincoln Square. Belmont Street becomes Highland Street. Turn right onto Grove Street and follow to first light. Take left onto Salisbury Street. WPI Park Avenue Parking Garage entrance is up on the left. From I-290 Westbound: Take Exit 18 (sign says Route 9), go down the exit ramp. Take a right onto Lincoln Street, then an immediate right onto Concord Street. At second light, Concord Street becomes Salisbury Street. WPI Park Avenue Parking Garage entrance is up on the left.
Assumption College Residential Life Staff will track those who depart campus – students are urged to email, text or call their RA or RD. All students will be provided safe shelter for the night.
-11:10PM UPDATE: The College has received an email indicating the threat of a bomb on campus. Local law enforcement are working with campus authorities to investigate the matter. The College is taking this matter seriously and following protocols. All students are currently safe; additional Assumption College officers will be on campus throughout the night and tomorrow.
College administrators are on campus and will begin collaborating with local law enforcement upon their arrival.
Related Slideshow: Worcester Crime Trends and Lack of Police Transparency
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After a spike in heroin overdose deaths - nine suspected in the first week of August alone - the city of Worcester declared a public health advisory. While the city works to combat the issue, many questioned if the efforts were too little, too late, especially when Police Chief Gemme announced that the Police Department - after six months of training - still wasn't carrying Narcan.
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While crime has certainly been an issue in the city of Worcester, the police force is certainly being paid well. As reported by the Worcester Telegram, Police Chief Garry Gemme topped the list of highest paid city officials, earning a gross pay of $199,430 in 2013.
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According to a nationwide crime survey of America's cities by Congressional Quarterly, Worcester slid into the bottom quartile of the most crime riddled cities. Worcester ranked 306th out of 400 qualified cities in regards to crime.
Worcester: 7th Worst Crime Rate
When the FBI released their 2012 crime data, many took notice that Worcester had the 7th worst crime rate in all of Massachusetts. Worcester had a total of 1,758 violent crimes, a mixture of murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults.
Gemme Violates Social Media Protocol
Police Chief Gemme took to his Twitter account to personally attack GoLocalWorcester.com saying, “Prediction.. GoLocal will go defunct before the new recruit class graduates and the new officers will have a long and secure career with WPD.” This comment violated the city's social media policy, barring defamatory remarks and personal attacks.
City Councilors Call For Gemme's Removal
A group of nine city councilors had called for the removal of Police Chief Gemme in March of 2012. City Councilor Lukes at one point had even called out Gemme at a city council meeting, urging him not to create conflicts with local news media.
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