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How Does Law Enforcement Investigate Social Media School Threats?

Two law enforcement leaders say it's about treating each and every threat seriously when it comes to social media and school threats.

NORTH CAROLINA, USA — When it comes to investigating school threats that originate on social media, police say they take every threat as if it were going to happen. 

"We take any threat to our schools very seriously," said Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson.

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That's the bottom line, and not only in Alamance County. SRO Supervisor for the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Mark Gordon says the same.

"We start the investigation no matter where it might lead us, we go ahead and pursue it and determine whether that threat is real or it's not," said Sgt. Gordon.

"The way things are going in society today we have to treat every single threat as if it was going to happen," said Sheriff Johnson.

Johnson says the credibility of a threat could be determined through an interview or background check of the person in question. 

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"A lot of these mass shootings that's happened there was a lot of signs out there that people didn't pay attention to, we're going to pay attention to them," said Johnson.

"A lot of times the children say things in certain ways that can be interpreted as a threat, and we must investigate," said Gordon.

Gordon says they have the ability to partner with other agencies like the SBI, and even the FBI to get to the bottom of social media threats.

"Parents need to sit down and let them [children] know what's going on in today's world with the society and so forth, that we need to take better steps and the first step is notifying them that using such language or certain types of words can get them in big trouble," said Gordon.

"If you send a threat on social media, and we get it and we work it and we identify you, you're gonna be charged as long as I'm sheriff," said Johnson.

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