UPDATE: Oak Forest Students Safe after Police Debunk Suspicious Voicemail
Police have investigated a voicemail left at Arbor Park District 145 district offices, which staff initially perceived as threatening, and determined there is no threat to local students, Oak Forest Police said.
No local students were in immediate danger, but police erred on the side of caution while investigating a voicemail initially perceived as threatening, left at Arbor Park District 145 district offices Friday just after 8 a.m.
The voicemail contained material that was interpretted as threatening, but it was determined that the message was left in error, said Oak Forest Deputy Police Chief Dominic D'Ambrosio. The caller believed the call had ended at the time of the statement and the conversation recorded took place in the background of the phone call, D'Ambrosio said.
District 145 Superintendent Allen Jebens expanded on D'Ambrosio's comments further.
"The individual thought that the phone was hung up and was having a conversation with someone else in the background and didn't know they were being recorded," Jebens said.
Jebens said that police did make contact with the caller, and quickly realized there was never any threat.
"Police made contact with the individual and realized that there was nothing ever directed at the schools, the students or the staff," Jebens said. "In fact, even as concerned as we were initially, there was never anything directed at us. It was just some random statements that we wanted someone else to listen to."
Staff alerted police to the message as a precautionary measure, he said. Jebens said that he called all of the Arbor Park School District schools individually and asked that students be moved or kept inside as a precaution while police looked into the matter. St. Damian parents were alarmed to hear students were swiftly moved inside by police order.
"We didn't go into a lock-down mode," Jebens said. "We just simply said, 'Keep the kids in until we get this thing resolved.' We certainly suspected that there wasn't much here, but we just wanted to be cautious. Just to be safe, you know we have a lot of little ones here."
He added that a letter further explaining the situation will be sent home with students today. Also, the same letter will be sent out via email. It can also be found attached to this article.
"Everybody reacted correctly," D'Ambrosio said. "With the information we had, it was determined there was no threat.
"There were never any students in danger."
There will be no criminal investigation.
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