CLEVELAND — The Federal Bureau of Investigation is launching a nationwide campaign to educate the public on the consequences of posting hoax threats to schools and other public places.
This area is no stranger to those threats. Earlier this week, threats were made against Bath schools in Allen County and Ada schools in Hardin County.
The FBI wants to remind communities that these hoax threats are not a joke.
According to a news release from the FBI, Cleveland office, “In the aftermath of tragic shootings such as the ones at Santa Fe High School and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the FBI and law enforcement around the country often see an increase in threats made to schools and other public forums,” the news release stated.
“The FBI and our partners follow up on every tip we receive from the public and analyze and investigate all threats to determine their credibility. Federal, state, and local law enforcement then employ a full range of tools to mitigate those threats which are deemed credible,” according to the news release.
Such an investigation can be time-consuming.
“These investigations drain resources and cost taxpayers a lot of money. When an investigation concludes there was a false or hoax threat made to a school, or another public place, a federal charge could be considered, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. If a federal charge is not warranted, state charges can be considered,” the news release stated.
The FBI needs your help to bring the perpetrators of these hoaxes to justice.
“Public assistance is crucial to our efforts to curb these hoax threats. We ask that the public continue to contact law enforcement to report any potential threats or suspicious activity. If there is any reason to believe the safety of others is at risk, we ask that the public immediately reach out to their local police department or call 911.”
A series of public service announcements is being unveiled.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.