Montpelier Police take questions on May school threat

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 10:31 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 10, 2022 at 6:10 AM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - With the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, how police respond to school threats has been a nationwide concern.

In the case of the alleged Montpelier High School threat at the beginning of May, the student responsible was served with an extreme protection order. That will be in place for the next six months unless the state opts to extend it. However, many people were unsure of what that really does.

The Montpelier Police Department seized an AR-style .22-caliber rifle, a 7 mm .08 hunting rifle, magazines and ammunition from the 18-year-old student’s home.

“Part of the process is to take custody of and seize the firearms they have, but they’re also put in a federal database that prevents them from being able to purchase a firearm,” said Cpl. Michael Philbrick with the Montpelier Police Department.

Following the school shooting in Uvalde that left 19 students and two teachers dead, some people are wondering how the Montpelier Police Department would have responded if this threat had turned into an active situation. Specifically, would they enter the school?

“We will not hesitate to go in. We are trained to go in,” Chief Brian Peete said. “We will do that, not just because we are trained to, we will do it as safely as possible, but we will go in there because we need to protect our kids.”

Peete says the Uvalde shooting is not what prompted Thursday’s forum. The timing is just coincidental. He says they couldn’t say more sooner to protect the anonymity of those who reported the student.

“The initial note I sent out created a lot of anxiety. There was not a lot of detail,” Peete explained. “I want to make sure I’m here to answer any questions or concerns the public may have about the incident.”

The student responsible for the threat will not return to the school for the remainder of this year. No charges have been filed, but there is an ongoing case in family court.

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