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Five Students Detained, No Gun Found at West Caldwell Vocational School

Essex Valley school was locked down for hours Wednesday afternoon as police searched the building for the weapon.

A report of a student with a gun locked down a West Caldwell vocational school and closed nearby roads for hours Wednesday afternoon.

No weapon was found, but five students were detained and face disorderly conduct charges that are unrelated to the report of the gun, West Caldwell Police Chief Michael Bramhall said.

The Essex Valleyl school, located at 1 Henderson Drive, was locked down shortly after noon as police searched the building, Bramhall said.

Police conducted a room-by-room search until about 5 p.m. when the lock down was lifted.

One school staff member became ill and was treated and released from the scene by the West Essex First Aid Squad.

Clinton Road and Henderson Drive were shut down while authorities probed the school, but the "issue" did not extend beyond the school grounds, Bramhall said.

The investigation began at about noon Wednesday when a student alerted a school staff member that another student was in possession of a gun, Bramhall said.

The West Caldwell Police were assisted by neighboring departments and the Essex County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit.

Caldwell-West Caldwell Superintendent James Heinegg released a statement, alerting parents to the situation and noted Essex Valley is a private vocational school and not affiliated with the public school district. Heinegg said the incident did not impact the CWC schools, which remained "operating normally" Wednesday afternoon.

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