• Local law enforcement, CMS launch awareness campaign to combat school threats

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Multiple law enforcement agencies are all joining together to send a stern message to students this year. 

    [Report: NC among 10 'states for concern' for school violence, threats]

    The FBI, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and CMPD have launched a joint campaign to encourage students to think before they post to social media. 

    They are calling the campaign #ThinkBeforeYouPost. 

    The campaign is designed to educate everyone about the consequences of making school threats and to remind the community hoax threats are not a joke. 

    Officials say after the shootings at Santa Fe High School and Marjory Stoneman High School, the FBI, CMPD, and other law enforcement agencies saw an increase in threats against schools. 

    Local law enforcement say they saw three times as many calls for school threats as the year before and charged students in about 10 cases from last year. 

    [CMPD arrests 14-year-old middle school student after Snapchat threat]

    "The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is committed to keeping this community safe, and we know how quickly misinformation, especially on social media can spread," CMPD Police Chief Kerr Putney said. 

    They say they investigate every tip they receive from the public to determine its credibility, but it drains law enforcement resources and costs taxpayer money. 

    Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina John Strong said if an investigation concludes and determines a threat was false or a hoax, felony convictions at the state or federal level can be filed.

    [CMS discusses school safety plans in wake of recent threats] 

    Federal charges in this situation carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. 

    Law enforcement and school officials at the press conference added the campaign will include digital billboard space in the Charlotte area as well as across social media platforms to promote their message. 

    CMPD released the below list of schools that experienced threats between Dec. 2017 and Feb. 2018. Officials said the list is not all inclusive. 

    • Charlotte Country Day
    • South Mecklenburg High School
    • East Mecklenburg High School
    • Ridge Road Middle School
    • Kennedy Middle School
    • Community House Middle School
    • Southwest Middle School

    So far, police said 375 CMS employees have been provided active shooter training. Ten other private and charter schools have also received the training.

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