Scottsdale day care closed due to phone threatsPosted: Updated:
A Scottsdale day care facility opted to remain closed Friday after receiving the second phone threat in a week.
Bright Horizons Preschool and Day Care, which is located near 92nd Street and Shea Boulevard on the Honor Health Scottsdale Shea Campus, shut down Thursday afternoon in the wake of the second threat.
The company wanted to give the Scottsdale Police Department more time to investigate. The plan is to reopen Monday.
According to company’s director of communications, Bridget Perry, 155 kids are enrolled at the facility.
Haley Otis’ 11-month-old daughter is one of the attendees.
“On Friday, our daughter wasn’t actually there. But, we received an email from the center letting us know that there had been a threatening call placed, that they were actually taking and sheltering the children and everybody was safe that the police were called,” said Otis.
According to Scottsdale police, a male caller made a vague threat last Friday.
“The first call for service was investigated to the fullest extent possible. That call consisted of a vague statement with no other investigable [sic] information. Out of an abundance of caution, the call was documented and the facility was placed on close patrol by our beat officers,” Scottsdale Police spokesman Kevin Watts said in an email.
Otis said Bright Horizons immediately called hospital security and police and kept parents notified every step of the way. Her concern was that she and her fiancé felt as if Scottsdale police were not doing enough to find the caller.
“We considered not bringing her in again until it was resolved. So, we called the police department on Saturday and they weren’t able to really tell us anything except that they closed the case,” said Otis.
Then Thursday morning, a male caller believed to be the same one who called last Friday phoned in another threat.
This one was more specific.
“The second call said, ‘Who is this that I’m speaking to?' And she told him her name. And then he said, ‘Well, I’m going to come take a kid,’” said Otis.
Again, Bright Horizons called police and hospital security and notified parents. But this time, company officials chose to close the center until they could gather more information.
Watts said the call Thursday gave them a little more to go on.
“In today’s call, the statements made were again vague but did provide some investigable [sic] information for follow up. At this point, we can only assume that the calls were related. We are proceeding with follow-up investigation at this time. The center will remain on close patrol as we move through the investigation,” said Watts.
Otis and other parents had to scramble to the center to pick up their kids and find backup day care.
“Actually, coming over there was a little bit chaotic. We had a lot of people obviously in scrubs. We had some people still in their surgical gowns, so they had been in the middle of a surgery helping or whatever, and they just had to leave immediately. Obviously finding child care backup really last minute was hard to do and just the threat of the danger,” said Otis.
Bright Horizon said the day care would be closed Friday and then reopen Monday with security in place all week.
“We are taking every precaution to ensure that everyone at the center is safe. Upon receiving the calls, we immediately contacted the Scottsdale police and followed our emergency protocols. We are working directly with the police and supporting them in any way we can. We will update our families as we receive more information,” said Perry in a statement.
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