YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Northern Valley Regional High School in Demarest briefly went on lockdown this morning, drawing officers from no fewer than 10 area police agencies, after two parents mistook a prop gun from a school play for the real thing.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT broke the story just after 8 a.m. of police converging on the school, searching the auditorium and hallways, after the parent reported seeing a dark-haired female with a gray sweatshirt carrying in what might have been a rifle around 7:40 a.m.
It actually was a World War II-era M-1 replica being used in a production of “Hello, Dolly!” that the freshman student had permission to bring home, authorities later confirmed. Roughly 3½ feet long, it has a wood stock and weighs roughly 7¾ pounds.
“She had the prop with permission. It was not her fault, “Demarest Police Chief James Powderley III said during a news conference outside the school.
A short time earlier, police established a perimeter and were bringing in a K9 from the Bergen County Police Department when surveillance video clued officials into what wa really happening.
Palisades Interstate Parkway Police also were en route, joining officers from Closter, Creskill, Dumont, Harrington Park, Haworth, Norwood, Northvale and the BCPD, along with Demarest police, the initial responders.
“The response was instant,” a law enforcement source told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “A perimeter was set up rapidly.”
Powderly (holding weapon in photo) praised the response, as well.
“We’re prepared for situations like this,” he said. “Our plans were tested today. We were able to bring the situation to a quick conclusion.”
PHOTO: Courtesy ABC7