Dickinson Police continue investigation into bomb threat on DSU campus
Dickinson State University received a bomb threat on July 1.
DICKINSON — According to the Dickinson Police Department, a bomb threat was received by dispatch at approximately 10:35 a.m. on Friday, July 1, that directed an actionable threat against a building on the Dickinson State University campus.
As a precaution, university officials issued an immediate evacuation order for all campus buildings and canceled scheduled classes for the day.
Police confirmed to The Dickinson Press that other campuses across North Dakota and the United States received similar threats in what appears to be a coordinated or planned series of bomb scares.
"We're still getting that information, it's definitely more than one (university)... We're not the only one in North Dakota to have received them. So we're just coordinating with those other agencies in our fusion center to narrow down exactly who's all been receiving these threats," Dickinson Police Lt. Mike Hanel said.
After law enforcement cleared the buildings at DSU, Hanel confirmed that a search of campus facilities led his department to the conclusion that there was no active security threat to the premises and the university was released from lock down.
Investigation into the original phone call remains ongoing by multiple agencies, with Hanel making a point to thank the joint-agencies involved, which included the Stark County Sheriff's Department and Dickinson Fire Department.
The Bismarck Tribune reported that Bismarck State College received a similar actionable threat against the college in a phone call made within two minutes of the one targeting Dickinson State University.
Similar threats by phone were leveled against colleges in Devils Lake and Bottineau in North Dakota, which follows a string of other bomb threats aimed at college campuses across the country on the Thursday and Friday. There is no indication that the incidents were connected, however officers responded to similar threats in Rapid City and Aberdeen, S.D., Washington state, North Carolina and Texas.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is a branch of the federal Department of Homeland Security that helps mitigate these threats by offering resources and educating the public. According to their website, these threats are usually made by phone and anyone who receives such a call should be polite, keep the caller on the line, find another means to notify law enforcement, other than the phone currently being used, and assist law enforcement by gathering as much information as possible.
Bomb threats in North Dakota fall under the Terrorizing law, which if a person is guilty of is a class C felony. Knowingly providing false information to another that a situation dangerous to human life or commission of a crime of violence is imminent can carry a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.