Ashland Police Chief appreciative of Monday afternoon's 911 call

An alert from the City indicated that officers were searching around the Ashland High School campus.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 3:23 PM
Updated: Sep 17, 2019 11:03 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. — NewsWatch 12 spoke with Ashland Police Chief O'Meara about the lock out and the 911 call. 

He wanted to stress how important it was that the woman called 911. She let the police department know something looked suspicious happening around the high school. Her call gave the high school time to go on lock out. 

"One thing I want to be clear about is I really appreciate that lady calling and reporting what she believes she saw. Even though it turned out to be that it was nothing it's important that members of the community respond to what they perceive." said Chief Tighe O'meara from the Ashland Police Department. 

NewsWatch 12 did reach out to Ashland High School and the Ashland School District. When we get a comment from them you can find it here. 

UPDATE: The Ashland Police Department (APD) confirmed in a statement on Monday evening that an anonymous caller had reported seeing a person walking near Ashland High School wearing a "bullet proof vest," prompting the lockout procedure.

The call came in just after 3 p.m., with the caller saying that they'd seen the suspicious person about two blocks away from the school.

"Several APD officers responded and made contact with AHS admin staff who put the school on lockdown per the APD request," the agency said. "Officers checked the area while faculty and students remained in their classrooms."

During a second sweep of the area, dispatch spoke again with the initial caller. The caller admitted that they had not seen a weapon and that the person "may not, in fact, have been wearing body armor," APD said.

After the second conversation, police lifted the lockout at Ashland High, but kept officers on the scene while students and staff left for the day.

"APD will respond swiftly to any threats, or perceived threats to any of our schools," the agency said.

(Updated 9/16/19 at 4:40 p.m.)

UPDATE: The "lockdown" at Ashland High School has been lifted, according to a City alert. Officers from Ashland Police will remain in the area as a precautionary measure.

(Updated 9/16/19 at 3:50 p.m.)

INITIAL REPORT: Police have put Ashland High School on a precautionary lockdown while officers search the campus for a "suspicious person," according to an alert issued by the city on Monday afternoon.

The alert came out at 3:18 p.m., but did not include any additional information.

Despite the alert, school officials clarified that this was a "lockout," not a lockdown. Staff had locked all doors into school buildings and would not be allowing anyone to enter until Ashland Police give the all-clear.

School officials also said that Ashland Police had been prompted by an anonymous 911 call indicating that a suspicious person was approaching the school.

"Please avoid coming to the high school," said a subsequent alert. "We will advise when the lockdown is lifted."

This is a developing story, and NewsWatch 12 will update the article with more details as they emerge.

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