AUDIO: Bomb threat for Bemidji Area Schools not credible

Superintendent Tim Lutz said Tuesday that a bomb threat called to an East Metro dispatch center, directed at Bemidji Area Schools, is not believed to be credible.

Lutz said that he got word from Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin this morning with the details, and out of an abundance of caution, law enforcement and custodial staff have been checking for anything out of the ordinary inside and outside of the school buildings.

Law enforcement has reportedly pinged the caller to within a 900 meter radius of St. Paul.

Parents have the option to remove their child from school if they so wish. Parents should call their child’s school attendance office to make the arrangements.

Lutz said these types of threats are common in the spring.

Chief Mastin, in a subsequent press release, says the local dispatch center received a call from the State Patrol’s East Metro Dispatch in St. Paul around 7 this morning regarding a suspicious 911 call. The caller reportedly said they were going to “blow up Bemidji Area Schools.” When pressed, the caller stated they “got bombs already set up in every Bemidji Area Public School available,” then hung up.

The 911 call has been traced to an area in Ramsey County. Detectives continue to work on identifying the caller.

Bemidji Police and Beltrami County deputies have responded to all Bemidji Schools, as well as Voyageurs Expeditionary and Trek North.

“The threats made by this individual have not been substantiated at this time. The Bemidji Police Department will continue to work with the Minnesota State Patrol and Minnesota Fusion Center to identify this individual. The Bemidji Police Department will continue to communicate with Bemidji Schools in an effort to assure the safety of our children and their staff.

If you have information about these crimes you can report it and stay anonymous by contacting Crime Stoppers of Minnesota at their website, by calling the toll free phone number 1-800-222-TIPS [8477]; or by using the P3 Tip Submit app installable on all smartphones. All contact with Crime Stoppers is anonymous and you may qualify for a reward of up to $1,000. The Bemidji Police Department encourages you to submit information to Crime Stoppers so you are free of retribution and remain safe while ‘doing the right thing.'”

Listen to the interview with Superintendent Tim Lutz:

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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