EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Lockdowns at El Paso schools and threats continue. Just last Friday a BB gun was found at Socorro High School and on Wednesday Jefferson High School was put on a lockdown after a knife was found.
The El Paso Police Department says they take school threats very seriously and the response depends on the threat.
“Our response will be in direct proportion to the threat and we do take those very seriously,” said Sgt. Enrique Carrillo a spokesperson for the El Paso Police Department.
However, the response to school threats can cause backlogs in other parts of the city.
“It’s a serious matter because you have the officers that you’ll see on the scene and then you have the officers working behind the scenes, working to confirm the veracity or establish the creditability or to debunk that,” said Carrillo.
Explaining that calls are prioritized and those lower-level calls will be put on a waitlist which creates a backlog.
“We can get resources from throughout the city so the primary units are going to be the officers assigned to the region where the incident occurred,” said Carrillo. “We may require officers from other regions to respond but that’s going to deplete resources also at those other regions and then create backlogs there, so there’s a cost to that.”
Carrillo emphasizing the importance of people continuing to call when they see something suspicious.
“We don’t want to dissuade people from calling, it’s always see something say something and we’re never going to dissuade people from calling. We want people to report any suspicious activity, if you are witness to that report it, but what we do ask is don’t spread rumors,” said Carrillo.
He adds that in these school threat situations students will call parents and parents will call other parents and then more calls come into the police department, sometimes with inaccurate information.
The incident that happened on Friday at Socorro High School when a BB gun as found, the Superintendent of Socorro ISD posted photos showing law enforcement inside the school on twitter.
The El Paso Police Department responded to the photos of law enforcement in the school.
“We felt that that was the appropriate response that was needed based on the information and that’s why you saw that, so not in all cases will you see that” said Carrillo.
The response to Socorro High School less than what we saw at Bel Air High School back in May, a few days following the Uvalde shooting where 19 children and two teachers were killed.
“I don’t think we’ve had such a large-scale response, and again the one at Bel Air High school was days after Uvalde, and students, administrators, and parents were scared with good reason and our response was going to be appropriate to the information that we received and that’s why the response was to the scale that you saw at that time,” said Carrillo.