WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) – The Jewish Community Center on West Maple Road in West Bloomfield was evacuated Wednesday because of a bomb scare — one of 16 across the country.
No injuries were reported at the big, busy building on West Maple Road, which also houses Frankel Jewish Academy.
Police told WWJ Newsradio 950 that the threat, which was called in to the center’s front desk, was no substantiated — but that the building was evacuated out of abundance of caution.
WWJ’s Sandra McNeill reported there were still hundreds of cars in the parking lot as an Oakland County Sheriff’s Office K9 team swept the building, Wednesday afternoon.
No explosive were found, according to police, and the “all clear” was given before 3 p.m.
Earlier, Frankel 10th grader Oliva Singer told McNeill she was in class when it happened.
“We got, like, an announcement to walk outside and they didn’t really tell us why,” Singer said. “So we all gathered up on the field, and were all like really confused. For maybe about 20, 30 minutes we were outside and then they took us to the Inline Hockey Center.”
Eventually, Singer said, students were told about the threat and instructed to go home for the day.
This comes as police are investigating at least 30 Jewish community centers across the country received threats, 16 of which were made Wednesday. Last week, similar threats were made against centers in at least six states across the South and Northeast, according to reports.
“It’s just scary for the whole Jewish community — that they’re coming and like aiming, targeting us,” Singer said. “It’s just scary.”
Added student Ilan Elrom: “I think it’s disgusting. I think that people need to understand that this kind of hatred, that it doesn’t get their message across.”
West Bloomfield Police Chief Mike Patton said with so many similar threats across the country, the likelihood of finding a bomb was low — but he wasn’t taking any chances.
There have been no arrested in connection with the incident. Patton said there will be extra security at the center as an investigation continues.