(WTAJ) — Due to an increase in violent threats in the nation’s public schools, U.S. officials will meet with federal, state, tribal, territorial and local law enforcement leaders to discuss strategies to address the cases.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office will meet in the next 30 days with law enforcement leaders to go over threat reporting, assessment and response by law enforcement over the rise in cases, according to a press release.
“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values,” Garland said in the release. “Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety.”
According to the Attorney General’s memorandum, the Justice Department will launch a series of additional efforts designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.
The efforts will include the creation of a task force, consisting of representatives from the department’s Criminal Division, National Security Division, Civil Rights Division, the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, the Community Relations Service and the Office of Justice Programs to determine how federal enforcement tools can be used to prosecute these crimes as well as ways to assist law enforcement where threats of violence may not constitute federal crimes.
Additionally, the Justice Department will create specialized training and guidance for local school boards and school administrators.
The training will help school board members and other potential victims understand the type of behavior that constitutes threats, how to report threatening conduct to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and how to capture and preserve evidence of threatening conduct to aid in the investigation and prosecution of these crimes, the release said.
Threats of violence against school board members, officials and workers in the nation’s public schools can be reported by the public to the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center (NTO) via its national tip like (1-800-CALL-FBI) and online through the FBI website.
It’s reported the NTOC will then direct credible threats to FBI field offices for coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and law enforcement partners as appropriate.
Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter for the latest local news, weather, and community events that matter to you.