Police sweep Bloomfield Hills high school after false alarm

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Bloomfield Township —  An alarm triggered inside Bloomfield Hills High School that later turned out to be false prompted school officials to evacuate the school, summon emergency responders and issue an alert Thursday afternoon.

School officials said a "BluePoint Alert pull station" was pulled inside the high school around 12:08 p.m. According to its website, a BluePoint alert is a fire alarm for police.

About 12 minutes later, school officials said the alert "appears to be a false alarm, and police are still actively sweeping the school."

Bloomfield Hills High School

District spokeswoman Shira Good said as the result of the alarm, some students were evacuated from the high school which uses a "run, hide, fight" method for school security threats, Good said. It was not clear how many of the school's 1,785 students left the building.

"Depending on where a student is located at the time of the alarm, they may choose to evacuate," Good said.

Some students took shelter from the cold at a nearby Lifetime Fitness after the alarm, while others went to a church or other businesses school officials said.

An "all-clear" message was posted to the district's website at 1:47 p.m. and students who had evacuated the school were beginning to arrive at the reunification site set at the Bloomfield Township library.

School officials said support staff has been dispatched to the reunification site to assist students who need to speak with someone regarding their experience.

"We will have staff available to support the emotional needs of all students," the district message said.

School board president Paul Kolin said the incident remains under investigation and police are reviewing video inside the school to determine how the alarm was pulled and who it was pulled by.

"They are reviewing tape. We don’t know who did it," Kolin said.

Some students have said they feel traumatized by what happened, Kolin said.

"Students and families are upset. They are traumatized. When an alarm goes off and you have to run, it's upsetting," Kolin said. "But parents are very thankful of all the training. The kids knew what to do. It happened as we wanted it to."

Multiple police agencies responded to the alarm, Kolin said, including the Oakland County Sheriff's Department, the Royal Oak police department and Berkley Public Safety.

Kolin said he wanted to thank the community for taking in students across areas businesses when it was 18 degrees outside.

"The community was great and took our students in and put them in a secure location," Kolin said. "I can't thank them enough for what they did for our students."