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Middlebury College threat response hampered by police radio problems

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - Last weekend’s emergency response at Middlebury College to an active shooter threat revealed communication problems among law enforcement.

Police responded Sunday to the campus library for reports of an active shooter that turned out to be a hoax. Middlebury Police were using Vermont State Police radio channels but were unable to communicate with other officers outside of the building.

Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley says the thick walls and structure of the library prevented the radios from working. “We responded immediately and got immediate aid from VSP. The issue was of course they couldn’t talk to anyone outside of the building. As supplemental units showed up, we couldn’t get a view of what was going on outside of the building,” he said.

Hanley says they will now test different radio frequencies to see which ones will work for other agencies.

Governor Phil Scott says the state police are also reviewing the communication discrepancy to see what happened.

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