‘Threat of violence’ closes local community college campuses cops say

A threat of violence Tuesday afternoon has shut down all campuses at Lehigh Carbon Community College.

All students and staff are being told not to report to campus and security is heightened. Allentown Police Assistant Chief Gail Struss said the report came in sometime Tuesday afternoon of a threat of violence made at one of the college’s campuses.

“It was not very specific,” Struss said Tuesday evening of the threat. “The college is erring on the side of caution.”

Struss said no specific person was named in the threat. Police are trying to piece together the details at this time and continue to investigate, she said.

“There’s not much to go on at this time,” she said.

An initial alert went out over social media around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, stating the Donley college classrooms at 718 Hamilton St. in Allentown were being closed.

Shortly after, a second posting went out saying all campuses were being shut down. Students and staff were told not to report and all classes and activities were being canceled. The posting said classes would resume Wednesday.

There is an “elevated security level,” the posting said.

The college has its main campus in Schnecksville and modern satellite sites in Allentown, Tamaqua and Jim Thorpe.

College spokeswoman Linda Baker said the college received word of the threat in the afternoon from the Allentown Police Department.

“Out of an abundance of caution, and in light of recent circumstances, (we) decided to close our campuses for all classes and activities this evening,” she said.

The college plans to operate under a normal schedule Wednesday and will communicate to the campus’ community any new information as its learned, Baker said.

“The safety of our students and staff is our priority,” she said.

The threat comes less than a week after a shooting killed 17 people and injured another 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

Pamela Sroka-Holzmann may be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @pamholzmann. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.