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Five Students Detained, No Gun Found at Essex Valley School

West Caldwell school was locked down for hours Wednesday afternoon as police searched the building for the weapon.

A report of a student with a gun locked down Essex Valley School and closed nearby roads for hours Wednesday afternoon.

No weapon was found, but five students were detained and face disorderly conduct charges that are unrelated to the report of the gun, West Caldwell Police Chief Michael Bramhall said.

The West Caldwell school, located at 1 Henderson Drive, was locked down shortly after noon as police searched the building, Bramhall said.

Police conducted a room-by-room search until about 5 p.m. when the lock down was lifted.

One school staff member became ill and was treated and released from the scene by the West Essex First Aid Squad.

Clinton Road and Henderson Drive were shut down while authorities probed the school, but the "issue" did not extend beyond the school grounds, Bramhall said.

The investigation began at about noon Wednesday when a student alerted a school staff member that another student was in possession of a gun, Bramhall said.

The West Caldwell Police were assisted by neighboring departments and the Essex County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit.

Caldwell-West Caldwell Superintendent James Heinegg released a statement, alerting parents to the situation and noted Essex Valley is a private vocational school and not affiliated with the public school district. Heinegg said the incident did not impact the CWC schools, which remained "operating normally" Wednesday afternoon.
Cj April 09, 2014 at 04:28 PM
"It is not affliated with the public schools it is a private school". Well is that private school paying all the overtime for the cops and people that have had to stand by this school the entire afternoon? The extra officers that have had to be called in. That school is an accident waiting to happen. Just a matter of time.
John Seragusa April 09, 2014 at 05:43 PM
west cald well police and all other towns did a great job
Tea Time April 09, 2014 at 06:34 PM
No gun found. The student who alerted a staff member, that another student had a gun needs a lie detector test. Are the two students friends?
gregory l. mitchell April 09, 2014 at 07:04 PM
Cj,your point is valid.I have had occasion to work across from that school,I have no way of knowing how well it's managed,however with a little observation there appears to be a rough bunch of students(like anything else-this certainly is not all).I have asked myself if this is really the best use for this property even before this event today.All of the police handled the scene very well,but should the taxpayers really have to pay for the various agencies involved?Perhaps the school should bear a good portion of the bill,I don't feel this would be extreme. Respectfully,Gregory L.Mitchell,W.Caldwell
Old School April 10, 2014 at 09:50 AM
It's not a private school in the mannor you are thinking. The students parents do not pay the tuition. Area school districts send troubled kids their are pay their tuition. It's all taxpayer money!

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