ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Stephen Maloney, Director of Public Safety & Emergency Management, sent a statement to students, faculty and staff after a threatening message was found written on a stairwell at the Montgomery College Rockville campus.
"Since receiving the collegewide communication last Friday and hearing news reports, many in our College community—faculty, staff, and students—are concerned and worried about the threatening message found at the Rockville Campus. I understand. The message "school shooting 3/5/14" was troubling, and that is why our College security offices notified the Rockville City Police Department immediately. It also is why we reached out to the Montgomery County Police Department and the Maryland Center for School Safety, and why we sent a message to the entire College community. We wanted to inform everyone and share our plan that ensures Montgomery College continues to be a safe and secure place to learn.
Montgomery College is working closely with all of our police partners, who are supporting and assisting our security offices and other security agencies. In fact, you may notice an increased security and police presence.
At the same time, I recognize that the information about the threatening message and the news reports may be unsettling. Be supportive of one another and understand that everyone handles situations like these differently. Please tell any students who may need assistance to reach out to faculty counselors on their campus. If employees need counseling, they should be in touch with the Faculty Staff Assistance Program, which is a confidential program and free benefit available through the College, at 1-800-935-9551.
After conferring with senior leaders, I have been asked to encourage faculty to be flexible about attendance but to expect that work will be completed and/or made up. In addition, I am told that the College is asking supervisors to be flexible with employees, who may be granted administrative leave.
Campuses are staffed with security officers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but I continue to ask for your support in keeping our College safe and secure. As we shared in our earlier memos about the threatening graffiti at the Rockville and Germantown campuses, there are several steps you can take.
· Report suspicious or concerning behavior immediately to the Office of Safety and Security. If you see something, say something.
· Know the number for the Office of Safety and Security for your campus or location. Consider programming the number into your cell phone or your office phone.
o Germantown Campus and Gaithersburg Business Training Center
o Rockville Campus, 40 West Gude, and the Office of Information Technology Building
o Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus and Westfield South
Thank you for patience, support, and commitment to safety and security."
This is the second such anonymous warning at the College in a month. Officials are investigating this incident. Due to the nature of the graffiti, there will be an increase in police presence on the campus, school officials said.
The message has since been erased from the wall. The first message was written in ink in a men's bathroom on the College's Germantown campus on Jan. 30 and read, "Big school shooting."