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Staff report
12:29 pm CST February 14, 2019

The Wilmette police and fire departments responded to a fire alarm at approximately 9:48 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at Loyola Academy, 1100 Laramie Ave., Wilmette. 

According to a press release from the Wilmette Police Department, a police officer had already been assigned to duty at the school at the time of the incident due to the anniversary of the Parkland, Fla. (2018) and Northern Illinois University (2008) school shootings. Due to those anniversaries and the fire alarm activation, there was an elevated emergency response to the school. 

A preliminary investigation indicates the fire alarm was the result of a system malfunction and not intentionally activated. According to police, Loyola Academy has taken all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of its students and faculty. Wilmette Police will continue to have a presence throughout the day and during afterschool activities.

New Trier’s Northfield campus implemented a temporary soft lockdown due to the police activity in Wilmette. That lockdown ended at approximately 10:23 a.m. and all activity at both campuses resumed as normal.

According to a release from New Trier, there was no threat to New Trier at any time and the school implemented the lockdown “out of the utmost caution.” Northfield campus students were allowed to attend classes as normal during this time, but they were not allowed outside the buildings.

Police were on campus communicating with staff the entire time, according to the release, and they assured New Trier officials the campuses was safe and secure to resume normal operations.