Bomb scares put strain on Caldwell emergency resources

CALDWELL, Idaho (KBOI) - A second bomb threat was called in Wednesday at Jefferson Middle School in Caldwell.

It was the second bomb scare in two days at the school, and Caldwell Police say this cycle of bomb scares is putting a strain on their emergency resources.

Police say they were able to clear the scene at Jefferson Middle School much quicker on Wednesday, and found no evidence of a bomb. Students were put on soft-lock down, and were able to stay in the building during the school day.

However, officers say they take every threat they get very seriously, and respond the same way each time.

"Deep down inside we probably realize it may be fake, but every time we do get a call, we take precautions because of safety for kids, safety for the staff so immediately we're going to take it as a real call," Caldwell Police Department Capt. Frank Wyant said.

Doing that requires a lot from a police department.

"It does require a lot of resources because a lot of times it takes officers off the streets and we put them specifically on the call," Wyant said. "Investigators will come out."

From there, it creates a domino effect. Caldwell police say when they're faced with a serious threat like this, they call on Idaho State Police and other agencies around the valley to help pick up the slack and respond to calls in the city.

"Some things frustrate us when you know somebody is doing it falsely, wasting our time, wasting other people's time," Wyant said. "But it comes with the territory. We're in the problem solving business, so that's what we do."

Even if a threat turns out to be false, the department is also spending more money when they respond to calls like this. Wyant says they often have to pay officers to come in on their days off, and compensate people for working longer hours.

Police say they are thankful that these threats haven't amounted to anything, but say regardless, the whole situation has been a learning experience they take very seriously.

"A bad thing can turn out to be a good thing if you look at it in a positive route," Wyant said. "We've made some pretty good strides with the school district, in things that they need to do better, we need to do better, and things that we can do in conjunction on something like this."

Officers say their work isn't done either. They will actively be following up on leads until they find whoever is responsible for the phone calls and false threats.