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Bradley University to review campus emergency and communication plan following Tuesday bomb threat

Bradley University president Stephen Standifird says he remains confident in campus safety after an unfounded bomb threat Tuesday night.

Standifird says a male caller claimed in a "very specific threat" that he was in the Business and Engineering Convergence Center with explosive devices. A police sweep of the building didn't turn up any suspects or bombs.

The threat was called in around 7:20 p.m. Three automated messages issued between 7:41 p.m. and 8:25 p.m. told students and staff to lock down and wait for further instructions. At 9:15 p.m., students were told they could move about their buildings but should continue to remain indoors. An all clear was issued just before 10 p.m.

Bradley University police chief Brian Joschko told reporters last night that authorities had a very "thought-through, methodical plan" for dealing with the threat that required an initial assessment of the situation to respond appropriately.

"We wanted to make sure of and assess what the specific threat was," he said. "Again, this was not just somebody that called up and said, 'Hey, there's a bomb here' and hung up the phone. It was much more elaborate and involved than that."

He also said the BECC is a complex building with numerous nooks and crannies which had to be searched in a systematic, controlled matter.

Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria said his officers would debrief on the response, and likely also debrief with the Bradley University police.

"While this incident has caused concern and disruption to our daily routine, I want to reiterate we take the safety of our campus very seriously," Standifird said. "We will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure that our campus remains a safe and secure environment for learning, research, and community, including a review of our campus emergency and communication plan."

Both the BECC and Renaissance Coliseum were evacuated. Agencies responding included the Bradley University Police Department, Peoria Police Department, and an agent of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The case remains under investigation with no known arrests made to date.

Counseling services are available Wednesday for students at (309) 677-2700, or (309) 677-3200 after-hours.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.