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Valpo school superintendent praises agencies' response to threats, following suspect's arrest

Valparaiso Community Schools

Valparaiso school officials are reacting to the arrest of a suspect in a series of phone threats. Police announced Thursday that a 16-year-old Ohio boy had been taken into custody, in connection with three recent threats of violence against Valparaiso High School.

"That is exceedingly great news for the police, and I just want to say again and laud the support that the community agencies have," school superintendent Dr. Jim McCall told the school board Thursday.

McCall said school officials take each threat seriously, and staff members did a remarkable job executing their training. "It's never something that you want to do but it's something that you prepare to do and, when called upon, you do," McCall added.

The superintendent said school officials try to communicate as efficiently as possible during emergencies, but he acknowledged that their alert system will never outpace students' cell phones. Still, he said there is room for improvement.

"After each of these incidents, we debrief . . . interagency -- so fire department, sheriff, police, schools together -- and just tabletop it, talk about what went well, what did we find out, where can we improve," McCall explained.

McCall said they've been looking into other vendors that might be able to send alerts to parents more quickly.