Area law enforcement holds news conference to address school threats

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - As many schools start back this week, law enforcement officials held a news conference to talk about school threats.

A sign of the times, Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe talked about the ways law enforcement is adapting to help keep students safe.

"We're training, preparing, equipping our patrol officers and those folks to be able to respond with the type of equipment, type of weapon systems they need, to be able to go in," Rowe said. "Because again, the first priority is stop the threat and end the violence as quickly as possible."

In addressing threats to schools, whether they're meant as a joke or not, the District Attorney's Office and law enforcement are taking threats very seriously.

"It could mean anywhere from a misdemeanor up to a felony offense depending on what the nature of it is, depending on what their actions are, depending on what they do," explained Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell. "It could be very serious. It could land you up to 20 years in prison. If the charges are there and there's probable cause to move forward then they're going to be charged."

Aaron Tapp, with the FBI Dallas Division, says that after tragedies like Parkland, Santa Fe, and Newtown, the people who knew the suspects saw red flags, prompting the See Something, Say Something campaign.

"If you observe red flags and if you see some disturbing change in behavior or some online posting or a specific threat, you need to report that to the local police, to the sheriff as soon as possible so that information can be disseminated, handled, and dealt with in the appropriate way."

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