Cowherd: Threat response went well, could be improved

Law enforcement awaits formal charges for suspect

Fulton Public Schools Superintendent Jacque Cowherd said Thursday that district staff’s response to a bomb threat Wednesday was good, but added there still is room for improvement.

Fulton High School, Bartley Elementary and Bush Elementary went into lock down Wednesday afternoon after an individual — later identified by the Fulton Police Department as Ryan Scott Bazer, a resident of the state of North Dakota — called and made threats against an FPS bus driver and the high school. The elementary schools were shut down as a precaution because the threatened employee had relatives there.

“Our staff implemented outside threat procedures, and, generally, it went well, (but) each building has a few tweaks it’s going to make,” Cowherd said. “I felt like it went smooth, but I think we could have been a little better, and we started those conversations today.”

One area he specifically cited as needing work for the future is communication — both within the district and with parents.

“We are setting up a better communication system between the central office and the school buildings,” Cowherd said. “We’re hoping to get more systems for communication with parents, and helping parents understand once a school is locked down we can’t let anyone in or out until law enforcement deems it is safe.”

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As for the suspect who started the uproar, Maj. Roger Rice with the FPD said law enforcement officials believe they know where Bazer is, although he said he could not be more specific than that he is out of the state.

“We do have the FBI on the case,” Rice said. “We’re waiting on the charges.”

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