Following the recent tragic high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., law enforcement throughout Louisiana and nationally have received numerous copycat type threats.
In one instance in Tangipahoa Parish, the threat contained actual credible information that was quickly addressed by the Sheriff’s Office, according to State Police. In another situation, a student in Evangeline Parish was arrested for posting online threats.
However, the majority of threats received were found to have no credible danger to public safety.
“Although we highly encourage citizens to report suspicious activity, we want to remind them that the increased sharing of unsubstantiated threats through social media stresses the resources available to respond to and investigate these claims,” according to State Police. “In the event you or a family member receive information pertaining to a threat, please carefully assess the information.”
If the threat was time sensitive and viewed as an imminent danger, immediately call 911. If there is suspicious activity that may warrant further investigation or something that does not seem right, report this information to local law enforcement.
The sharing of unsubstantiated threats through social media could add chaos and panic to our school systems and further burden the facility, staff, and student body, according to the State Police. Threats made to our schools, churches, and public institutions will be expeditiously investigated with every available resource. People who choose to make threats against others, be they real or not, can face serious charges in Louisiana. The terrorizing law in Louisiana is a felony and states that people who intentionally communicate information of a crime of violence, which causes the public to be in sustained fear for their safety, causes the evacuation of a building, or other serious disruption to the general public can be arrested and fined up to $15,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 15 years.
The Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division (CID) is responsible for the investigation of criminal activity, and will continue to work together with our law enforcement partners to further our mission of protecting and serving the people of Louisiana. Furthermore, the Louisiana State Analytical & Fusion Exchange (LA-SAFE) will support federal, state, local and private sectors by working together to provide timely information for use in promoting public safety and national security against criminal threats.
All citizens play a critical role in protecting Louisiana and safeguarding our communities, and we want to remind citizens that if they “see something, send something.” The See Send app by My Mobile Witness can be used to report suspicious or criminal activity. It allows information to be reported to law enforcement by smart phone. This free app for iPhone, iPad and Android offers users the ability to write or take a photo of anything that is suspicious. The app can be found at http://www.mymobilewitness.com