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"Hoaxing & "Swatting" Information

"Hoaxing & "Swatting" Information

North Andover Public Schools “Hoax” and "Swatting" Information

November 30, 2023

Dear NAPS Community:

As you may have already seen in the news, there were multiple incidents in school districts across Massachusetts this week, including our neighboring City of Lawrence, where false accounts of a man with a gun at school were reported. These incidents are known as hoax “swatting” reports. Swatting hoaxes are intended to elicit an urgent response from law enforcement and the school district, thus creating fear and disruption.

North Andover has not been part of these situations to date, but we are monitoring this situation and are prepared if a situation may arise in our community. North Andover Public Schools, the North Andover Police Department, and the North Andover Fire Department have plans and protocols in place to respond to any threat, whether it be real or a hoax, and these plans and protocols will be followed if a report is made. Any threat will be treated as legitimate until the NAPD’s investigation proves otherwise. 

The North Andover Police and Fire personnel are trained and prepared to take decisive and immediate action if there is a threat to any of our schools. Our school leaders and staff are trained on active shooter and emergency response, and all of these protocols and plans are based on best practices from law enforcement agencies around the country.

It is possible that we will be affected by one of these hoax “swatting” reports at some point. If that happens, we will respond accordingly and then share whatever information we can as soon as it is safe and practical to do so. Please be assured that we have the resources and training to take immediate action, if necessary. In the event of a hoax, we will investigate thoroughly and will prosecute any person responsible to the fullest extent of the law. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Gregg Gilligan, Superintendent

Charles Gray, Chief of Police

John Weir, Fire Chief

Cc: Lt. Detective Michael Davis, Criminal Investigation Division & School Safety