The Federal Bureau of Investigation Corpus Christi Resident Agency, in collaboration with local law enforcement partners, hosted a news conference to launch the FBI’s 2019 #ThinkBeforeYouPost public awareness campaign.
The campaign is meant to educate the public and remind students about the consequences of making hoax threats to schools and other public places threatening the safety of others is unacceptable.
On Monday, law enforcement from the area, including Alice Police Chief Aniceto “Cheto” Perez, gathered to discuss the FBI's community outreach effort to try and scaled down the number of threats hoaxes.
Anyone who makes a school threat as a joke, whether on social media, text or email, will face serious consequences regardless of age. Those individuals who are found to have made such a threat will be arrested and prosecuted.
“Dating back to 9/11, we take everything extremely serious. We've had more shootings in the country and law enforcement takes all threats very serious. It isn't funny. It's not fun to even joke about things like this,” Perez said.
The news conference discussed how hoax threats drain law enforcement's resources costing taxpayers money, shuts down school operations and creates unneeded panic for communities and for parents.
According to Ed Michael with the FBI Houston office, said there were 33 general threats this month from the Houston FBI office and 17 of those were towards schools.
“Kids or adults will get arrested for making threats...Students have to remember that these are felonies not misdemeanors,” Perez said. “Students need to remember that they will become adults and they'll want to be somebody. They'll want to attend college or apply for government jobs, well, these crimes follow them. They don't disappear just because you were a kid at the time. The stay on your record.”
“We stress that these threats aren't funny. You will be arrested,” he said.