HCST in Secaucus was placed on lockdown as police searched for suicidal man


The Hudson County Schools of Technology was placed on lockdown as police searched for a suicidal man, Secaucus Police Chief Dennis Miller said.

Photo via secaucuspolice.org.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Today at approximately 9:31 a.m., the Secaucus Police Department received a call from the New Jersey State Police, Sussex Station stating they had contact with a concerned family member of a male who is suicidal, Miller said in a statement.

They said they had tracked his cellular phone to the area of Penhorn Avenue, Turnpike Exit 15X in Secaucus and the Jersey City jurisdictional border in Laurel Hill Park. The man was reportedly possibly armed with a handgun/shotgun and wished to harm himself.

The man’s cell phone was constantly tracked to get a more precise and frequently updated locations. His was narrowed to the marsh area near the Secaucus Junction Train Station/Laurel Hill Park where a perimeter was immediately set so that he could be located.

The Secaucus Police Department certified drone pilots launched the department drones.

The Jersey City Police Department and New Jersey Transit Police Department Emergency Service Units, along with patrol personnel, Hudson County Sheriff’s Office and New Jersey State Police Troopers and helicopter responded to assist with securing the area.

At about 9:45 a.m., the phone was believed to be stationary and the Hudson County Schools of Technology and the Kiddie Academy Daycare at the Exchange were informed to “shelter in place” due to the heavy police presence and increased traffic of law enforcement equipment.

By 10:31 a.m., the Secaucus Police Department Negotiator, Det. Lt. Michael Torres was able to make telephonic contact with the man that was in distress. Torres was able to reach the mentally distressed man by phone.

The New Jersey State Police helicopter was then deployed, which was negative for any visual sightings, however, was beneficial in narrowing the location of the man by utilizing the acoustics of the helicopter during the phone call.

The Hudson County Regional Crisis Negotiation Team arrived to relieve Torres and attempt to have him surrender for assistance.

While speaking to the man, background noise could be heard by officers that were monitoring the call that placed him within the Secaucus Junction Train Station.

NJ Transit Police Officers ultimately located him in the restroom of the train station and a search for any weapons was negative. He was then transported to the proper medical facility to receive treatment via Jersey City Mobile Crisis.

The area was additionally searched for any weapons, which also proved negative.

Miller thanked the Jersey City and NJ Transit Police Departments, as well as the New Jersey State Police, Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, Hudson County Regional SWAT and Hudson County Crisis Negotiations Team for their support during this event.

“Locating an individual in such a vast area is metaphorically similar to the needle in the haystack,” the police chief added.

“It is a testament to the services all of these agencies provide and epitomizes the teamwork capabilities of our local law enforcement agencies to result in this individual receiving the assistance he needs. We also thank the community for remaining calm in light of recent current events.”

The man does not currently face any criminal charges, Miller added.

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