Mayerson JCC evacuation one of many across country

Posted at 4:45 PM, Jan 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-18 20:04:35-05

AMBERLEY VILLAGE, Ohio -- The Mayerson JCC was evacuated for more than an hour due to a bomb threat Wednesday in one of a string of similar incidents across the country.

The local Jewish community center received a call about a possible bomb in the building at about 10:30 a.m. Amberley Village Police Chief Rich Wallace said about 300 people were evacuated.

Police have plans in place for incidents at the JCC just like they do for local schools, Wallace said.

Mayerson JCC CEO Marc Fisher said the evacuation "went off, really, without a hitch."

"I wasn't expecting it at all, but we were prepared," he said.

There had already been several bogus bomb threats made against Jewish community centers elsewhere in the past 10 days which they had been aware of, Fisher said. Threats were also reported in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Delaware, Connecticut, Alabama, California, Maine, Tennessee, South Carolina, Missouri, Texas and Kansas. 

The Associated Press reported that the FBI and the Justice Department's civil-rights division are investigating "possible civil rights violations in connection with the threats." 

Police and deputies with K-9s searched the Mayerson JCC building and found no bombs. They gave the all-clear at about noon.