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January 27, 2016 2:06 pm

Florida Police Investigate Bomb Threat Directed at Jewish Community Center

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Students of the Jewish Academy of Orlando. The Jewish center was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat. Photo: Facebook.

Students of the Jewish Academy of Orlando. The Jewish center was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat. Photo: Facebook.

Police in the city of Maitland, Florida are investigating a bomb threat directed at a local Jewish community center, Florida’s Fox 35 reported on Tuesday.

Police said a call threatening to detonate an explosive device was received by the Jewish Academy of Orlando, full of children, at around 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

The facility — which includes the Jewish Academy, the Roth Family JCC, the Holocaust Center and Federation offices — was evacuated and all campus operations were suspended for the remainder of the day, according to the Orlando-based website Wesh.com. Students were taken to the nearby Lake Sybelia Elementary School, where they waited to be picked up by their parents, who were informed of an “emergency” at the school.

Officers and bomb-sniffing dogs searched the Jewish center but found no explosives, according to Fox 35.

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Lt. Louis Grindle said officials are keeping an eye on the Jewish Academy of Orlando to “make sure there’s no suspicious vehicles and things like that.” He said figuring out if the bomb threat is serious or a mere prank is difficult.

“It could be someone who’s trying to make the threat and scare people,” he explained. “It could be a student from somewhere, sometimes when they don’t want to go to school that’s what the big thing was bomb threats.”

The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando released a statement saying all campus buildings will resume normal operations on Wednesday morning, while local and federal authorities continue to investigate.

“We commend Maitland Police and Fire Rescue personnel for their outstanding response to this situation,” said Olga Yorish, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. “Their professionalism and guidance enabled us to conduct a safe and orderly evacuation. We know that hundreds of community members come to our campus daily, and we want to assure you that we will continue to take every measure necessary to ensure a safe and secure Jewish Community Campus.”

The Mandel Jewish Community Center in Palm Beach Gardens was also evacuated on Tuesday after receiving a similar bomb threat, Fox 35 reported.

Anyone with information on the bomb threat is asked to call the Maitland Police Department.

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