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Ligonier Y ups security in response to threat

| Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Ligonier police are investigating a threat against the borough police department and the Ligonier Valley YMCA, according to Mayor Ormond “Butch” Bellas.

Police received a threatening, anonymous letter on Wednesday naming the department and the YMCA facility at 110 W. Church St., Bellas said.

Police Chief John Berger could not be reached on Friday for comment about the specific contents of the letter.

“We're taking this very seriously. We have already informed the YMCA of the letter's contents,” Bellas said.

The threat resulted in YMCA Executive Director Ben Wright issuing an email alert to members, staff and directors.

“We take any threat to our Y community seriously and want to inform the membership, staff and community to be alert and report any suspicious activity to staff immediately. The credibility of this threat is being investigated by the Ligonier Borough and state police,” Wright wrote.

Last night, Wright said in a telephone interview that the YMCA will be installing and testing a new security system that will provide a higher level of control and management of access to the building.

“We have had a long-term plan to increase security,” Wright said. “We're now putting that plan into place sooner than (initially) planned.”

Wright said there was nothing in the letter that could help authorities to determine the identity of the author, nor whether the writer was a member of the YMCA.

“After the installation is completed, our hope is that the community spirit and life around our Y will remain the same but with additional safeguards we all desire for our friends, families and community,” Wright wrote in his email.

Anyone with information on the threat is asked to call borough police at 724-238-5611.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or ppeirce@tribweb.com.

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