Five arrests at Washington schools last night took place after audio detection alerted our Verification Center to suspicious activity. First, Jessica heard a couple of small banging sounds coming from a middle school in the Mukilteo School District. Jessica began listening intently. She continued hearing banging and breaking glass, and she dispatched Mukilteo PD. As the police were en route, Jessica stayed on the line with the dispatcher and updated them of continuing movement and sounds in the school, including more breaking glass and the sound of three or four fire extinguishers. The officers set up a perimeter and brought in K9. As officers entered, a 15 year old male ran out of the building. He was apprehended and arrested.
According to the school contact, the fire alarm was also set off so an addition staff person stayed at the school all night on fire watch. The only broken window was at the point of entry, but the mess from the fire extinguishers was so expansive that a special cleaning crew will need to come in.
A couple of hours later, Kris received audio activations from breaking glass with lots of crashing, banging and voices at a Tacoma elementary school. She notified Tacoma School Patrol and dispatched Tacoma PD. Two door alarms were triggered and Kris continued hearing two or three voices. The patrol guard reported that four individuals were taken into custody. The suspects gained entry by removing a wooden board that was covering a broken window.
It’s nights like this one that remind us of how important our work is. While any sort of damage to schools is distracting and potentially dangerous to students, at least last night’s suspects were stopped before they could do anything worse and are now off the streets. We are very proud of our work with schools and are honored to be trusted with the safety of students across the Pacific Northwest.