Strongsville Police at High School Following Rumors of Gun

Officers stand by during Friday morning assembly


Strongsville Police sent two extra officers to Strongsville High School Friday morning after rumors circulated that someone had threatened violence there.

There no actual threats made, police said, but the department sent officers to the school because students had heard a series of rumors over the last two days.

"We've actually been sending officers to all the schools for the last week," in response to the shootings in Newtown, CT, Detective Lt. John Janowski said. 

But rumors of violence at the high school prompted the department to send an extra officer on Friday.

"We didn't have any actual threats made, but it doesn't hurt to be there," Janowski said.

On Wednesday, two students reported hearing a rumor that someone was going to bring a gun to the high school on Friday, Dec. 21.

Police Chief Jim Kobak said officers launched an investigation, interviewing the student the girls heard the threat from. That student gave police another name, who told police who he'd heard it from.

"By the sixth or seventh person, it turned out to be a girl talking about a gang possibly coming to a school -- and it wasn't even in Strongsville," Kobak said.

On Thursday, a family reported finding rumors of bomb and shooting threats at SHS Friday morning on their daughter's Facebook page.

Again, police couldn't locate the source of any threat.

But because of the rumors circulating, the department decided to place two officers -- in addition to the school resource officer -- at the high school during a first-period assembly in the auditorium Friday morning.

There were no incidents at the assembly, police said.

Janowski said the department has tried to send an officer to school buildings each morning since the Connecticut shootings. The officer either goes inside or waits in the parking lot as students arrive.

He said the police presence is designed to make the kids feel safer in their schools.


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