Juvenile arrested for threat to school


Boy, 10, faces misdemeanor making false alarms charge

By Belinda M. Paschal - bpaschal@aimmediamidwest.com



Mike Ullery | Dailuy Call A Piqua police cruiser parks near Washington Primary School on Thursday following vague threats made against a number of area schools overnight.

Mike Ullery | Dailuy Call A Piqua police cruiser parks near Washington Primary School on Thursday following vague threats made against a number of area schools overnight.


Mike Ullery | Daily Call A Piqua police cruiser patrols the parking lots at Piqua Junior High and Piqua High School on Thursday. Following vague threats toward several area schools on Wednesday night, Piqua police made their presence known at all city schools.


Conducting threat assessments

The Piqua Police Department released a press release discussing how they assess threats in Piqua to help encourage people to continue to report possible threats directly to the department and to provide citizens with the knowledge and tools they need to feel safe.

When a possible threat occurs, the Piqua Police Department first takes protective measures for uninvolved parties to a threat which could include closing a school or business or making an announcement to those affected. They then gather multi-disciplinary teams to assess information that could lead a reasonable person to believe a violent act could occur. They include law enforcement and a mental health component along with teams familiar with the situation or concern.

The department has developed a tool based on several sources that have determined indicators of potential violence based on studies of previous incidents.

This multi-disciplinary team determines a “level of concern” for the threat. Low and medium concerns result in continual monitoring and usually follow-up actions by the school or business.

If the team decides, after the review, it is reasonable to believe the subject poses a threat to themselves or others or the subject appears to be on a path to attack, then the department takes control of the situation for arrest and/or involuntary mental health evaluation, and they continue communication with the school or business to conduct reentry plans for the subject to the school or work environment.

A threat assessment goes beyond determining whether a subject said something threatening. If they said something illegal and it can be proven, they get charged. The department assesses the threat for both the intent and the capacity of the subject to carry it out. When threats are brought to their attention outside of school or work hours, they frequently prohibit the student or employee from coming to the potential target site while conducting the investigation.

The Piqua Police Department encourages residents to report their concerns. They can call 937-440-9911 and ask to speak to an officer, or they can use the department’s anonymous Submit-A-Tip system.

The department discourages people from getting on social media and asking if anyone else has the same concern, or issuing their own warnings to their social media audience that is based on second-hand information.

“I have yet to see one of our cases benefit from private citizens issuing their own warnings or reports of threats to a broad social media audience,” said Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison. “And if you add to that equation a warning or the repetition of an unsubstantiated rumor, it interferes with our investigation and can actually create its own safety hazards.”

For more information, visit bit.ly/PPDtips.

PIQUA — A 10-year-old boy is being charged in connection with a threat involving Piqua Central Intermediate School, following a day of investigation by the Piqua Police Department and administration at Piqua City Schools.

The local juvenile is being charged with first-degree misdemeanor making false alarms. According to Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison, the boy, while walking home from the school bus, told other children that he was going to bring a gun to school on Thursday.

Jamison said that the police department intervened Wednesday night to ensure that the boy did not have access to guns and also to make sure that the boy did not go to school until their investigation was complete. The investigation was completed Thursday evening.

Patrols at Piqua schools were increased on Thursday while the investigation was under way. District Superintendent Dwayne Thompson said there had been rumors circulating of other threats that turned out to be unfounded, the result of a snowball effect that often comes with relying on social media to disseminate information.

“People will put something on social media saying, ‘Hey, this kid made this threat, and by the time it gets to us, there are so many rumors and so many versions that it’s hard for us to get details,” Thompson said.

Jamison echoed this sentiment, saying, that most of the rumors “panned out to not be true.” Nevertheless, authorities take all threats and rumors seriously, he said.

“We take each (threat) based on where the information is coming from,” he said, adding that social media is often an unreliable source of information.

“We don’t want to discourage people from reporting (a threat) to us, but we do discourage people from reporting it to a large social media audience. It’s not a good way to intervene or help us to determine the reliability or validity of a threat.”

The school district’s main goals are to ensure safety of its students and to get communication about such incidents out to parents, Thompson noted. To that end, a call was sent out Thursday morning about the alleged threat at PCIS and notifying parents that there would be an investigation, as well as a threat assessment, which involves police, staff members, administration, counselors and mental health experts.

Thompson added, “When a student or parent hears anything, they are always our first line of defense. If people can make that contact and help us right away, that helps us more than putting it on Facebook. It helps us get details and facts sooner, so we can take care of the situation sooner.”

Thompson listed several ways concerned residents can report rumors or alleged safety threats, including calling police if the information is received after school hours; leaving an anonymous tip on the Piqua Police Department’s website; or going to www.piqua.org and clicking “Student Safety Reporting” on the righthand side of the page.

Mike Ullery | Dailuy Call A Piqua police cruiser parks near Washington Primary School on Thursday following vague threats made against a number of area schools overnight.
https://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2018/02/web1_022218mju_pcs_ppd-1.jpgMike Ullery | Dailuy Call A Piqua police cruiser parks near Washington Primary School on Thursday following vague threats made against a number of area schools overnight.

Mike Ullery | Daily Call A Piqua police cruiser patrols the parking lots at Piqua Junior High and Piqua High School on Thursday. Following vague threats toward several area schools on Wednesday night, Piqua police made their presence known at all city schools.
https://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2018/02/web1_022218mju_pcs_ppd2-1.jpgMike Ullery | Daily Call A Piqua police cruiser patrols the parking lots at Piqua Junior High and Piqua High School on Thursday. Following vague threats toward several area schools on Wednesday night, Piqua police made their presence known at all city schools.
Boy, 10, faces misdemeanor making false alarms charge

By Belinda M. Paschal

bpaschal@aimmediamidwest.com

Conducting threat assessments

The Piqua Police Department released a press release discussing how they assess threats in Piqua to help encourage people to continue to report possible threats directly to the department and to provide citizens with the knowledge and tools they need to feel safe.

When a possible threat occurs, the Piqua Police Department first takes protective measures for uninvolved parties to a threat which could include closing a school or business or making an announcement to those affected. They then gather multi-disciplinary teams to assess information that could lead a reasonable person to believe a violent act could occur. They include law enforcement and a mental health component along with teams familiar with the situation or concern.

The department has developed a tool based on several sources that have determined indicators of potential violence based on studies of previous incidents.

This multi-disciplinary team determines a “level of concern” for the threat. Low and medium concerns result in continual monitoring and usually follow-up actions by the school or business.

If the team decides, after the review, it is reasonable to believe the subject poses a threat to themselves or others or the subject appears to be on a path to attack, then the department takes control of the situation for arrest and/or involuntary mental health evaluation, and they continue communication with the school or business to conduct reentry plans for the subject to the school or work environment.

A threat assessment goes beyond determining whether a subject said something threatening. If they said something illegal and it can be proven, they get charged. The department assesses the threat for both the intent and the capacity of the subject to carry it out. When threats are brought to their attention outside of school or work hours, they frequently prohibit the student or employee from coming to the potential target site while conducting the investigation.

The Piqua Police Department encourages residents to report their concerns. They can call 937-440-9911 and ask to speak to an officer, or they can use the department’s anonymous Submit-A-Tip system.

The department discourages people from getting on social media and asking if anyone else has the same concern, or issuing their own warnings to their social media audience that is based on second-hand information.

“I have yet to see one of our cases benefit from private citizens issuing their own warnings or reports of threats to a broad social media audience,” said Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison. “And if you add to that equation a warning or the repetition of an unsubstantiated rumor, it interferes with our investigation and can actually create its own safety hazards.”

For more information, visit bit.ly/PPDtips.

Reach Belinda M. Paschal at bpaschal@aimmediamidwest.com or (937) 451-3341

Reach Belinda M. Paschal at bpaschal@aimmediamidwest.com or (937) 451-3341