School threats: how police decide which are credible

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QUAD CITIES. (KWQC) - Following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida schools in our area have been looking into several threats. Within the last month, five threats have been made towards schools in the Quad Cities. Christina Fisher is a junior at Rock Island High School and said she was huddled in the back of her classroom during a lockdown last week.

"It's really scary because honestly the thought of anyone getting hurt is not something I want to see all over the news and something regularly happening."

While the district said it wasn't a 'direct threat' both students and staff took precautionary measures. Schools in West Branch, Fulton, East Moline and Davenport have also dealt with threats in the last month. Detective John Leach sorts through nearly 50 tips each week and said it can be difficult to differentiate which threats are credible.

"It has a lot to do with the background of the individual, it has to do with the threat," Leach said. "It's easy to say that the child is just attention seeking, but no threat is overlooked we give pretty serious thought all of them."

Leach said some of the threats have been made on school walls, passed through notes and made on social media. When a threat is received, Leach said the police department first contacts the school to notify what the next best steps should be. From there, teachers, students and parents are alerted as authorities try to find out as much as they can about the person who made the threat.

"It's something you don't want to put a band aid on," Leach said. "It's something you really need to look into and find out how you can correct behaviors or feelings or whatever situation that child is going through."

Police encourage anyone to submit a tip through their "P3 TIPS" app. You can head to the Apple store or Google Play and search "P3 TIPS." Anyone can also call the 24-hour hotline at 309-762-9500.

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