Charleston, WV (WOAY) – The West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement agencies received 19 false threats in 17 counties on Wednesday regarding school shootings to other violence on campuses statewide.
The Department deems all the calls as not credible and believes the false reports are due to swatting.
Swatting is when an individual contacts emergency services or 911 centers to bring a large, armed law enforcement presence to a specific location.
Law enforcement agencies mobilize and respond rapidly to the report, often with a special weapons and tactics team (SWAT). Swatting can tie up emergency services and could be deadly.
The West Virginia Fusion Center, under the Department of Homeland Security, is coordinating response efforts at the state level.
The West Virginia Department of Homeland Security advises all West Virginians to immediately call 911 if there is an immediate danger or law enforcement intervention if necessary.
Additionally, the Mountain State has partnered with My Mobile Witness to implement a “see something, send something ” reporting system on smartphones and other mobile devices.
Individuals can participate in the initiative by downloading the free See, Send application from the App Store or Google Play.