NMC, GT Academy Cleared In Separate Security Threats Monday
By Beth Milligan | Nov. 5, 2019
Authorities were dispatched to Northwestern Michigan College's Aero Park campus and Grand Traverse Academy in two unrelated incidents involving potential security threats Monday.
NMC's Aero Park campus was on lockdown for nearly two hours Monday afternoon after an individual at the Parsons-Stulen building called 911 to report seeing a man with a gun sticking out of his pants. All weapons, including firearms, are prohibited on NMC campuses. NMC security immediately locked down all of the buildings as a precautionary measure while Traverse City Police Department officers responded to the scene. Officers conducted a room-by-room search of the building, but did not find any weapons or other threats to public safety. The department also searched other nearby buildings as a back-up measure. Captain James Bussell told The Ticker the department interviewed one individual who was a possible match for the suspect described in the 911 call, but did not find any weapons on him and could not credibly link him to the incident.
“We appreciate the quick actions from our students and employees and the quick response from TCPD. Safety is our top priority and everyone’s responsibility,” NMC President Timothy J. Nelson said in a statement. “We have increased our safety measures, drills and trainings during my tenure. I am grateful those processes worked today and we will continue to find ways to improve.” NMC practices safety drills several times a year, with the most drill occurring on November 1. The college also tests its emergency communication system monthly.
Michigan State Police officers also reported to Grand Traverse Academy's campus Monday morning after a student reported on the school's OK2Say tipline Friday that they had seen a Snapchat post containing a photo of a gun and a warning not to come to school Monday. Authorities, who have questioned the individual behind the Snapchat post but have not yet made an arrest or pressed charges, were stationed at the school as a precautionary measure.