AP NEWS

Increased Police Presence in SVVSD Schools Following Earlier Threat

March 1, 2019
Longmont Times-Call

Parents of Longmont High School students received a disturbing email around 7:30 a.m. Friday alerting them of a possible threat at the school.

“Last night, I was notified of a Safe2Tell message that suggested a possible threat against our school,” Longmont High School Principal Rick Olsen, wrote in the email. “Local Law enforcement immediately conducted an investigation and at this time they do not believe there is any threat to the community.”

Despite the assurances that everything was fine, following threats made at Sunset Middle School earlier in the week, many parents decided to exercise caution and keep their kids home from school. Some reported actually running outside and stopping their children from getting on the bus just before they left.

According to Sgt. Craig Mortensen, supervisor of the Longmont Police Department’s school resource officer unit, the alert was raised when he received a high number of messages regarding Longmont High School on Safe2Tell, an anonymous reporting service provided by the state.

While the messages resulted in an increased police presence at Longmont High School, because the messages all seemed to be “variations” of the threats made at Sunset Middle School, he said the department did not believe a threat was imminent.

“Because the threat referenced the same day using similar methods we believe that as word got out about the earlier threat and it got passed from person to person, it started getting twisted a little bit and was modified for Longmont High School,” he said. “We just wanted to make sure we got through this day, which we have.”

Due to the ambiguous nature of the treats, Mortensen said Longmont police had an increased presence at many schools around Longmont, but that he doesn’t anticipate any further precautions being necessary.

Though Longmont police reported that a 12-year old girl has been referred to juvenile court in relation to the initial threats made on social media, Mortensen said an investigation will continue to ensure no one else was involved.

“This was a significant drain on resources,” he said. “We’re taking a long lens approach on this to make sure we get it right and keep our schools safe.”

Officials from St. Vrain Valley School District and Longmont High School did not return a request for comment.

John Spina: 303-473-1389, jspina@times-call.com or twitter.com/jsspina24