SHERIFF: School threats come with major repercussions

Published: Aug. 26, 2019 at 8:13 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With terroristic attacks and threats being made across the country, law enforcement is always ready in case the unthinkable happens.

Last week’s threat at Molo Middle School in Lake Charles was resolved swiftly by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.

"We're committed to our kids and our schools,” Sheriff Mancuso said. “We treat it as if it is happening and it is happening to our children and we take each one of them very seriously."

He says two years ago a rapid response team was started because of the national conversation on school shootings.

Now the sheriff's office, along with the Calcasieu Parish School Board and Crime Stoppers are working to create an app called "Close Watch." It would allow kids in school to anonymously report a suspicion of danger. Mancuso says if you see something, it is always important to say something.

"When you hear there is a possibility of someone being hurt and someone being in grave danger, then you have to speak out in this day in age,” Mancuso said. “I think that's what you're seeing across this country, I think people have had enough, and they are speaking out now."

He says we always need to be aware of our words we use out of frustration or emotion. Just as the threats are treated seriously, so are the consequences, which he says could be anywhere from jail time to seriously impacting your record for life if those threats are found to be credible.

“Stop, take a breath, and relax,” Mancuso said. “Realize what they’re going to say and what the consequences could be of their actions before they do them and maybe people will stop and realize, ‘that’s just ridiculous’ and ‘I shouldn’t do that’. And there is a better way to solve the problem.’”

The sheriff’s office says counseling and guidance are available at schools to assist anyone who is in need.

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