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Security concern call to law enforcement result in Bemidji Middle School lockdown

The report of a person riding a bicycle and possibly carrying a pistol in the neighborhood of the Bemidji Middle School resulted in the BMS administration and staff keeping students inside the building Thursday afternoon.

Principal Drew Hildenbrand said in a press release he was informed by law enforcement of the possible security issue.

"As a precautionary measure, middle school staff kept all students inside the building while law enforcement responded to the situation," he said. "At this time (2:27 p.m. Thursday) we are confident that the situation has been properly handled and middle school students are safe."

Bemidji Police Chief Jerry Johnson said any comments on the incident will come from the Bemidji School District.

Superintendent Jim Hess said he responded to the middle school and worked with Bemidji Police officers and Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies.

"When law enforcement notified us of the concern call, we went ahead and went into lock-down at the middle school," Hess said.

He said they scoured the area, including the trails around the school and had an extra law enforcement presence on hand during the dismissal time. Bemidji Middle School Liaison Officer Jon Hunt was on hand, as well as Bemidji High School Liaison Officer Michelle Leffelman, Hess said.

He said no one was apprehended as a result of the search. However, he encouraged citizens who see anything that concerns them about the safety of the students or raises suspicions to call in a report.

"The safety of our students is of the utmost importance to us at Bemidji Middle School," Hildenbrand said.