Middle school has short lockdown over “suspicious” object

Princeton Middle School had a lockdown for less than a half hour shortly after 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11, after a suspicious object spotted on the floor was reported to authorities.

The object turned out to be just a battery pack that had fallen out of the bottom of a portable audio speaker when it had been carried from one point to another inside the school.

Princeton Police Chief Brian Payne said he had to admit that it did look suspicious at first glance, since the battery pack has a couple wires coming out of it. But when emergency services personnel looked closer they realized what it actually was.

Neither Principal Dan Voce nor Assistant Principal Sarah Marxhausen were at the school at the time, but police liaison officer Nicole Josephes was on duty there and instrumental in the security precautions taken.

The emergency responders besides Princeton Police, were three Mille Lacs sheriff’s deputies, Princeton Fire and Rescue and North Ambulance.

Police Chief Payne was complimentary afterward about how Josephes and the middle school staff and school district administration handled the situation, Payne calling it a “text book” way to deal with a suspicious object.

School Superintendent Rick Lahn sent out a letter dated Jan. 11 to parents/guardians of the students explaining what had happened. “At no time were students and staff in danger,” his letter stated. “The lockdown was simply a precautionary measure. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or concerns.”