AOC active shooter alert a false alarm

Published 12:36 pm Monday, March 18, 2024

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An emergency alert was inadvertently issued at the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) in Frankfort on Friday morning, which went across the telephone system to many facilities of the Kentucky Court of Justice (KCOJ) around the state.

The alert, which sounded around 9 a.m., included a message that there was an active shooter situation, which caused at least one employee in Frankfort to call 9-1-1. Frankfort Police, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department and Kentucky State Police were among agencies that responded to the alert.

Frankfort Police say as they were working to clear the building of the suspected active shooter, they received another phone call from the person that notified them initially, saying, “Please disregard, this was an inadvertent test.”

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Jim Hannah, AOC Communications director, said, “We continue to investigate the incident and are working internally and with our telecommunication providers to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

He noted, “The KCOJ extends its appreciation to its partners in law enforcement and all first responders for their swift and efficient response. Their professionalism and dedication were paramount in ensuring the safety and well-being of our elected justices, judges, clerks and KCOJ employees during this incident. Law enforcement’s actions alleviated confusion and reassured those affected by the incident.”

Hannah added, “The Judicial Branch relies on its emergency response partners daily to ensure our facilities’ safety and security in all 120 counties. From handling emergencies to providing support during critical situations, their expertise and swift action are indispensable. This incident served as a poignant reminder of their crucial role in safeguarding our well-being.”

This was the second time in less than a year there was a false active shooter alert at a state office building in Frankfort.

On May 17, 2023, KSP received a call about a possible person with a gun in the KYTC building and Mayo Underwood building on Mero St.

After the building was evacuated, no active shooter was found, and there was no confirmed report of any shots filed.