BPS officials respond to concerns caused by police drills

BPS officials respond to concerns caused by police drills

Boston Public Schools officials issued a statement to parents Friday in response to “rumors” that followed a series of active shooter drills conducted by the Boston Police Department. Starting at approximately 10:51 a.m., radio chatter during the first drill described mass casualties being inflicted by a shooter on a rooftop in the North End. Dispatchers participating in the scenario called out that “multiple 911 calls” reported a shooter with a “high-powered rifle.”Dispatchers identified the calls as a drill, but only once and only at the beginning of a script that lasted about 13 minutes. There were approximately 8 minutes of empty air time between the announcement of the drill and the broadcast of the first scenario’s details. Broadcasts by the Boston Police Department can be heard by members of the media or the general public who are equipped with the proper radios, often known as scanners. When NewsCenter 5 heard the descriptive and alarming calls, we contacted a department spokesperson who was also initially unaware that the scenario was a drill.The drill involving the North End scenario ended at 11:04 a.m. and at 11:16 a.m., an announcement was made indicating that another training scenario was about to begin. During the second drill, which lasted until 11:24 a.m., dispatchers broadcast details of a scenario involving an active shooter on the second floor of a city middle school. The script included details of multiple casualties and officers deploying into the building. Additional drills followed. Boston Public Schools contacted families at 12:33 p.m., saying that rumors of an active shooter are false and explaining that police have been conducting several active shooter drills. The drills followed a spate of deadly mass shootings in recent weeks, including a massacre at an elementary school in Texas, a deadly assault at a medical facility in Oklahoma and a racist rampage at a supermarket in New York.

Boston Public Schools officials issued a statement to parents Friday in response to “rumors” that followed a series of active shooter drills conducted by the Boston Police Department.

Starting at approximately 10:51 a.m., radio chatter during the first drill described mass casualties being inflicted by a shooter on a rooftop in the North End. Dispatchers participating in the scenario called out that “multiple 911 calls” reported a shooter with a “high-powered rifle.”

Dispatchers identified the calls as a drill, but only once and only at the beginning of a script that lasted about 13 minutes. There were approximately 8 minutes of empty air time between the announcement of the drill and the broadcast of the first scenario’s details.

Broadcasts by the Boston Police Department can be heard by members of the media or the general public who are equipped with the proper radios, often known as scanners. When NewsCenter 5 heard the descriptive and alarming calls, we contacted a department spokesperson who was also initially unaware that the scenario was a drill.

The drill involving the North End scenario ended at 11:04 a.m. and at 11:16 a.m., an announcement was made indicating that another training scenario was about to begin.

During the second drill, which lasted until 11:24 a.m., dispatchers broadcast details of a scenario involving an active shooter on the second floor of a city middle school. The script included details of multiple casualties and officers deploying into the building.

Additional drills followed.

Boston Public Schools contacted families at 12:33 p.m., saying that rumors of an active shooter are false and explaining that police have been conducting several active shooter drills.

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The drills followed a spate of deadly mass shootings in recent weeks, including a massacre at an elementary school in Texas, a deadly assault at a medical facility in Oklahoma and a racist rampage at a supermarket in New York.