'No community is safe:' Wake County Public Schools get multiple threats a day, according to sheriff

9 June 2022

— The Wake County Sheriff’s Office investigates several school threats each day in Wake County Public Schools

“We have been coming across them almost daily. Almost two or three a day,” said Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker.

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office has 24 officers in schools across the county. Baker said they take threats seriously, especially given what happened in Uvalde, Texas.

“If a child communicates a threat in this county to harm someone at a school or anywhere else, we are going to pursue it and we are going to draw those juvenile petitions,” he said.

As a result of the lingering concern of school safety, police and school officials are holding a public meeting Thursday evening in Holly Springs to provide parents with answers on how their students are protected. This meeting comes just hours after another school threat happened at Fuquay-Varina Middle.

Fuquay-Varina Police Chief Brandon Medina said there was a disagreement between a group of students, and he believes one of them was physically attacked and words were exchanged. The words were caught on a text and shared online. Medina said their investigation traced back to two juveniles, and that they are following up with appropriate actions.

“You can’t take words for granted,” he said. “You have to follow up.”

This is just the most recent in a string of school threats.

“The sad events that occurred in Uvalde obviously sparked a number of questions,” said Holly Springs Police Chief Paul Liqourie.

Liqourie does not believe any community is safe from the potential for tragedies like the one in Texas.

“No community is safe, as we see. They are random. We see it in Texas. We saw it in Connecticut. We see it in Florida. No community is immune,” Liquorie said.

So how do authorities watch out for potential school threats? There are several ways, including monitoring online posts and word-of-mouth. There’s also computer software that can search student devices for concerning language.

“We do a lot of behind the scenes following up on social media, phone numbers, who is talking to who,” Medina said.

If you are in Holly Springs and want to learn more, police and school officials are holding a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Law Enforcement Center.

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