When a threat of violence is made towards a school, local law enforcement is called in to conduct an investigation. Boise police say their primary focus initially is to find out who made the threat, and then interview them to see if they can get their true intentions. It’s then they have to determine how credible the threat is.
“There are several different factors that go into determining how credible the threat is. Each individual case is unique in that so you apply many different things to determine that threat. I can’t give you an exact answer because there isn’t an exact answer. It depends on the situation,” said SRO Sgt. Jake Nichols.
Boise Police said often times the threats are not serious and a kid will confess that it was a joke and they did not really mean it.
But if there is any credibility to it, then they work with the school district and command staff to determine what should be done and whether to release that information to parents.
“As with any active investigation there is certain details that we don’t release because if we get other information we want to verify that information and determine it’s credibility,” said Nichols.
While they said their first priority is the safety and security of the students, staff, and parents, they have to be vigilant and often times, although it can be frustrating to parents, they can’t release exactly what the threat is or how it was carried out.
“We don’t want to sensationalize these types of threats and get people that are maybe sitting on the fence as to whether its a good idea to try to get school canceled,” said Nichols.
Boise Police said it’s ultimately up to the parents to decide whether they want to keep their kids home or not, but they will provide them with the information to make an informed decision on their own.
If caught, Boise Police will send reports to the prosecutors office and it’s up to the courts to determine how the individual who carried out the threat will be punished.