UTC security beefed up, person of interest sought in bomb threats
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - UTC is beefing up patrols on campus by calling in city police to help secure buildings and look out for suspicious activity. This comes after a series of bomb threats.
Investigators now have a person of interest, but don't know who or where he is. If you have any info on the man in this photo, call police at (423) 698-2525.
School officials say it's been one scare after the other and they want it to stop. "When a threat reaches the credibility level that we're going to take some action, then we know what has to be done and we go in and we do it," UTC Spokesperson Chuck Cantrell said.
UTC officials say with two bomb threats this week, they can't be too cautious. Students agree. "It's just gotten completely out of hand," UTC student Nick Friend said.
That's why campus police are getting added help. City officers are scouring the campus Friday for any body or any objects that look suspicious.
"I've seen them driving around all over and I have seen them in the buildings too," UTC student James Evans said.
Only one semester into his college experience, freshman James Evans says it's scary to hear the word "bomb" on campus. "Terrorist attack. After 9/11, you got to," Evans said.
But, some senior classmen say the phony threats are becoming commonplace with four this semester alone. "It's the story of the boy who cried wolf. Everybody thinks they're empty threats. Everybody takes them with a grain of salt, so when a real one comes around, nobody's going to take it seriously," Friend said.
School officials say the increased security proves they take it seriously every time. "It's not a joke. It's not something to be laughed off," Cantrell said.
Final exams are now pushed back into winter break for some and others have had to relocate while bomb dogs searched their classrooms Thursday.
"A friend of mine had to take a test in one their teachers' living rooms elbow to elbow with 15 or so other people," Friend said.
Again, if you know any info about the person of interest, call police at (423) 698-2525.
Whoever is convicted for making the false reports could face 15 years jail time.
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:22 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:22:18 GMT
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