Brandeis community members were notified of a bomb threat on the Brandeis campus on Aug. 20 at 10:50 a.m. via phone call, text and email through the Brandeis Emergency Notification System (BENS). At 1:40 p.m., community members were notified that the threat was “all clear” and that public safety had concluded their search and determined that it was safe to end the shelter-in-place and resume campus activities.
The motivation or intent behind the threat as well as who initiated it is unknown, Director of Public Safety Edward Callahan wrote to The Brandeis Hoot in an email. He said that there were no explosive devices located, and the investigation is being conducted as a collaborative effort among several law enforcement departments.
“Upon hearing of the threat this morning, we implemented our comprehensive emergency response protocols and directed all individuals on campus to shelter in place as the threat was assessed and investigated,” said President Ron Liebowitz in an email to the community on Aug. 20. “The way we responded today should give us all a sense of confidence about our abilities to address threats and protect our community.”
The bomb threat was called into the Brandeis Police Department at 10:55 a.m., according to the first BENS notification. A subsequent update at 11:35 a.m. told those on campus to continue to shelter in place, stating that the campus police were in the process of conducting a search of the grounds. The alert instructed people to evacuate, shelter in place or remain off campus if they are currently off campus
In 2017, Brandeis received a bomb threat before the school year began, on Aug. 23. The university was evacuated and closed for seven hours due to the threat. At the time, students were evacuated onto different sports fields, according to a Hoot article from the time.