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Increased security at Fletcher High School football game after potential threat

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. — There was a larger-than-normal police presence for parents and students at Friday night’s Fletcher-Atlantic Coast game.

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Security was amped up after Neptune Beach Police Department got word of a potential threat earlier in the week.

Related Story: Increased police presence at Fletcher High due to threat of a shooting, DCPS says

It was also senior night so there were a lot of other activities other than the game. Officials told Action News Jax that they didn’t have a reason to believe there was any danger. However, they wanted to make sure everyone would feel safe.

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Parents like Daryl Vagilenti were comfortable for his son’s game.

“I never felt my child was at risk of anything and they handled it.”

The NBPD was in full force after receiving information about an incident that happened off campus.

Other parents like James Peters, whose son plays on the team as well, notice it too.

“I’m glad they have it, it’s unfortunate these kids have to go through this all the time.”

Related Story: ‘Running, screaming:’ Chaos at Fletcher High School football game after fight breaks out

Fletcher’s principal Dean Leadford said there was some sort of fight involving students and adults but they weren’t working any active threats during the game. There wasn’t a reason to believe there would be any danger.

“The biggest goal tonight is for the kids to come out here, play the game and enjoy the night,” Leadford said. “We’re going to follow every protocol we have, we’re going to be transparent, we’re gonna’ send out if we get anything.”

Ledford said the beefed-up police presence wasn’t related to the possible shooting threat on Wednesday, but it comes after an early September game ended early because of a fight. It’s something Peters’ son remembers.

Related Story: ‘Lock out’ at Fletcher High: Tip about gun leads police to student who brought Nerf gun to school

“He was running across the field and jumped across the fence and that’s nothing he wants to do, he wants to play football.”

Principal Leadford said on top of confidential security plans, everyone was wanded, no bags were allowed inside and officers would be inside and outside the stadium.

“I thought they were overly cautious and as a parent, I like that,” Peters said.

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Fletchers principal said having to hear about these threats can be difficult on staff, and students but said he knows they fell comfortable because of the protocols they have.

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