(LEX 18)- The FBI is launching a campaign to educate the public on the consequences of posting hoax threats to schools and other public places.
Hoax threats are not a joke, and the organization wants to raise awareness of the issue.
In the aftermath of tragic shootings such as the ones at Marshall County High School, 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. Investigators follow up on every tip they receive from the public, and analyze and investigate all threats to determine their credibility.
It’s a huge use of resources. Federal, state, and local law enforcement then employ a full range of tools to mitigate those threats which are deemed credible. Making false threats drains law enforcement 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 public is asked to 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, reach out to your local police department by calling 911, or contact the FBI via tips.fbi.gov or over the phone (1-800-CALL-FBI). As always, members of the public can call their nearest FBI field office to report a tip.
Early intervention can prevent a situation from escalating by identifying, assessing, and managing the threat. Remember, if you see something, say something. Hoax threats are not a joke, so think before you post!