Several state facilities went into emergency protocol procedures Thursday following warnings of potential threats made by email, according to the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security. In Albany County, officials chose to continue operations mostly as they normally do.
On Thursday morning, Homeland Security received notice of an anonymous email with threats made against state facilities, schools statewide and Cheyenne Regional Airport, according to a news release.
In response to the threats, school districts in counties such as Goshen and Carbon went into lockout procedures.
Schools in Rock Springs and Green River were evacuated, according to the Rock Springs Rocket-Miner. Several colleges across the state canceled classes Thursday, including Western Wyoming Community College, Eastern Wyoming College and Northwest College.
However, Albany County law enforcement officials joined in on a conference call with Homeland Security at 1 p.m. where they were advised the threats were not credible, Albany County Sheriff Dave O’Malley said.
“Apparently, many other states and Canada received similar email threats, and it had been determined they were not credible threats,” O’Malley said.
Schools in Albany County School District No. 1 were temporarily placed on heightened alert Thursday afternoon but did not undergo any lockdowns.
Stuart Nelson, ACSD No. 1 director of state and federal programs, said at about 12:55 p.m. Thursday, he received an email containing a letter from Wyoming Homeland Security Director Guy Cameron and a copy of the email the state received. He immediately contacted ACSD No. 1 schools through the district’s notification system.
“All of our buildings are secured anyway; they continued to secure the exteriors of the building,” Nelson said. “We didn’t go into an official lockdown; we just made sure that the buildings were secured, and to heighten our awareness of any suspicious people or actions that were taking place in the school area, and they were told to call the police if anything suspicious was seen.”
Nelson said about 25 minutes later, he received an email from O’Malley stating the threat was non-credible and passed that information along to the schools.
Parents were notified about the development at about 1:50 p.m. via text message and email, he said.
“There was no threat directed at a school,” Nelson said. “It was a pretty much general statewide threat. So we just went into our normal protocols of securing all the buildings, you know, making sure if we have a visitor, that we know who they are, and screening and that type of thing.”
At the University of Wyoming, spokesperson Chad Baldwin said officials were aware of the threats and were working closely with Homeland Security, but that there were no disruptions to normal operations at the Laramie campus.
“The UW Police Department heightened its vigilance, but there was no specific threat to the university,” Baldwin says in an email.