CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) is working to put a stop to false threats at schools, saying they’re getting three to five fake threats against schools every week.
CMPD has a whole team dedicated to tracking false threats against schools and working to make arrests.
Investigators have noticed another disturbing trend recently at schools.
Police officers swarmed Ardrey Kell High School on September 22, putting parents in a panic.
The commotion was over a fake threat that CMPD is just now releasing, which stemmed from a swatting call.
Police say someone called to say something false to spark SWAT to respond.
“It’s frustrating; it’s frustrating not only to the department, but it’s frustrating to the schools in particular,” said Sgt. JD Williams, one of three supervisors over CMPD’s School Resource Officer Unit. “Within a week, we’re fielding anywhere between 3 and 5 threats, false threats.”
He doesn’t believe students have any idea of the consequences.
CMPD is using the “Think Before You Post” campaign to remind students that they can be arrested for making fake threats, and it can follow them when they’re trying to get a job or get into college.
“We have the resources to be able to track that down, and we do it on a regular basis,” said Sgt. Williams.
He says parents can also face fines.
“If you’re going to give your child a smartphone, then you need to be a smart parent and monitor that usage.”
Police say they’re tracing every single threat.
“If it turns out you were making a false threat or a false post, now your parents have police at their door and surrounding their house,” said Sgt. Williams.
CMPD sent Queen City News the following information regarding another juvenile arrest earlier this year:
Earlier this year, a See Something Say Something tip was sent to the CMPD 911 call center. The tip advised that an unidentified subject wearing face coverings made an Instagram Post armed with various weapons to include assault style rifles.
The post indicated that this subject was going to shoot up the school the next day. The SRO Call Back Team was dispatched and immediately began investigating the source of the post. We utilized our department’s Crime Intelligence Unit and other sources to track down and identify the IP address.
Once a subject was identified and the Instagram user confirmed, our SRO Call Back unit conducted a knock and talk and a search of the home. Once inside, the Officers spoke to the student that made the post and located the weapons.
The guns turned out to be airsoft toys that are manufactured to look like real firearms. The student said it was a joke meant to scare his classmates and did not realize it would go that far.
That person was charged as a juvenile for communicating threats against a government building.
He was also suspended and assigned to the alternative school for the remainder of the year.
His parents were completely unaware of what he was posting.Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deparmtent