Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Threat to local schools found in January

Posted on April 9, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on April 9, 2013 at 12:21 p.m.

The Elkhart Police Department sent out information Monday, April 8, saying that an anonymous threat had been made to schools in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties from an unknown person who said they were going to “kill 20 kids in five different schools.” The person said the incident will happen Monday, April 15.

Police and school officials aren’t releasing more information at this time, but here is what we know.

HOW AND WHEN WAS THE THREAT MADE?

The Elkhart Police Department is not releasing those details at this time, saying that it would interfere with the ongoing investigation. However, Lt. Matthew Blank of the St. Joseph County Police Department said the threat was found in Elkhart County sometime in mid-January. Without giving more specifics about how the threat was made, he compared it to a scribble made on a bathroom stall.

WHAT SCHOOLS ARE BEING TARGETED?

According to a press release from EPD, the threat mentioned schools in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties, though no specific schools were mentioned.

HOW ARE SCHOOLS AND POLICE REACTING TO THE SITUATION? WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO KEEP KIDS SAFE?

Elkhart Community Schools administrators are working with the Elkhart Police Department to develop a safety plan. Doug Hasler, executive director of support services for Elkhart Community Schools, said that administrators are working with the Elkhart Police Department and taking measures “that will provide for the safety of staff and students.” Those include an increased number of officers around school campuses, among other actions, he said.

Elkhart police have also been in contact with Trinity Lutheran School, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Thomas School, according to the Elkhart Police Department.

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department has also assigned officers to schools in the county.

St. Joseph County Police and police in South Bend have also worked on increasing security in the county schools.

“When we receive a threat of any nature we follow up on it,” said Blank. “There’s no way in the world we wouldn’t take it seriously.”