Woodstock has experienced a flurry of bomb threats for the first time in nearly 20 years. In an eight day period, two bomb threats occurred in Woodstock. The first was on Thursday, Sept. 15 at Woodstock Golf Club on Mill Hill Road at 5:50 via telephone. The buildings and golf course were evacuated.
Investigations were conducted by the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Woodstock Police and the New York State Troopers.
On Thursday, Sept. 22 Onteora Middle/High School went into lockdown after receiving a bomb threat. A 14-year-old was charged with a class E felony of falsely reporting an incident in the second degree. The minor was released to the parents and referred to Ulster County Family Court.
New Paltz Police Chief Joe Snyder and University Police Chief Dugatkin said that their departments have had no knowledge or involvement in the threats at Woodstock, but they do each have their own protocol for responding to threats, which could not be released for security reasons.
Snyder said that there are different protocols for types of threat and location and that they have had to deal with some incidents in the past.
“In most cases, we handle them within our own agency with assistance of State Police, Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department and Rescue,” he said. “At times bomb dogs are brought in to check the area and if a device that is suspicious is found, the State Police Bomb Team will come to the scene.”
Dugatkin also said that he has not encountered a bomb threat on the SUNY New Paltz campus in the five years he has been with the University Police Department.
However, they do have a bomb threat awareness procedure that is available to all students, faculty and staff. The procedure instructs the recipient of a bomb threat made via telephone to ask certain questions in attempt to get more information out of the caller. It also discusses how to handle threats via email or handwritten note and what to do upon the discovery of a suspicious package.