Concerning phone call prompts increased police presence at Southbridge schools

Concerning phone call prompts increased police presence at Southbridge schools

SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. — Southbridge Police ramped up patrols at schools in town Monday after learning of a concerning phone called made to a crisis hotline.

Police said a man called a crisis hotline for veterans that operates out of Westborough around 6 a.m. Monday.

According to police, the caller only identified himself as "Roger" and said he was a teacher planning to bring a gun to school Monday to harm himself and others.

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The man had called from a Skype account using a third-party number, which made it difficult for police to trace the origin of the call.

Police believed the caller may have a connection to Southbridge because the phone number he called from had a ‘774' prefix. However, the phone call could have been made from anywhere in the country.

The caller didn't mention Southbridge during the phone call, according to police.

Westborough Police alerted Southbridge Police to the phone call.

Southbridge Police Chief Shane Woodson immediately notified Southbridge Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Villar he was increasing police patrols around schools as a precautionary measure.

Southbridge Police said they didn't believe the treat was credible, which is why classes weren't canceled.

"Southbridge Police and Southbridge Public Schools worked together to ensure the safety of staff, students, and the community at large," Woodson and Villar said in a joint statement. "While we do not believe this represents a credible or immediate threat to safety, we will continue to monitor the situation to prevent any local incident."