'Disturbing ordeal': Uni boss thanks police after lockdown
SOUTHERN Cross University's Lismore campus is expected to be open as normal today, after a frightening four-hour lockdown yesterday.
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In a statement issued late last night, the university's Vice Chancellor, Professor Adam Shoemaker, said the campus was safe and well after "enduring an emergency lasting several hours".
"Police Command this evening handed control of the campus back to the University after an emergency lockdown and subsequent evacuation following threats made to police," he said.
"Most importantly, I can confirm that there were no injuries to anyone on campus.
"I want to thank the NSW Police Force, all members of campus security, our Chaplaincy colleagues, and-especially-all staff and students who were caught up in the events.
"The level of cooperation with the essential lock-down procedures was just outstanding. And the collegial support shown by all members of the Southern Cross family was tremendous.
"There is no doubt it has been a stressful and for some, disturbing ordeal.
"Counselling will be available through the critical incident debriefing service, our own counselling service and the employee assistance program today and for the coming weeks.
"The campus will be open as normal on Wednesday."
NSW Police said the operation was launched after a threatening phone call was received by police from the Richmond Police District around 1.30pm on Tuesday.
Local police attended the campus, where they were assisted by specialist units; including Tactical Operations Regional Support (TORS), the Negotiation Unit, the Rescue & Bomb Disposal Unit, and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.
"Approximately 800 people were evacuated from the university after a lockdown was initiated," police said in a statement.
"Nearby schools also initiated lockdowns.
"There were no reports of shots fired and following an extensive search of the campus, no credible threat was detected.
"One female student was conveyed to Lismore Base Hospital for a minor injury not related to the threatening phone call.
"Whilst the police operation has ended, police will work cooperatively with university management and continue to maintain a high visibility presence on and around the campus."
An investigation is now under way into the source of the phone call.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.
The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.