Collier County parents concerned about school safety
On Friday, many parents woke up to a message from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook, stating CCSO was aware of statements made on social media that referenced Collier County schools.
Parents were not told which schools were mentioned until a few hours later. David Thomas, retired police officer and professor of forensic studies at Florida Gulf Coast University, explained why it can take law enforcement so long to give parents all the information behind a school threat.
“You’ve got to give them time to do a reasonable job, to do a good job, because you don’t want them to make a wrongful arrest,” Thomas said. “You don’t want them to make a mistake, you want them to give this investigation its due diligence. I know that that’s a pain, and it’s painful, but it’s also true.”
Why, then, would CCSO send a message at all if it would necessarily have to be so vague?
“I would dare say that, initially, all the sheriff’s office had… all the information they had is that there was a threat,” Thomas said. “If they had not done that, and the parents found out later, or the media found out later, they would hand them off to dry. So, they got the information out as quickly as they possibly could. And I would also dare say that, through the course of this investigation, they were able to narrow it down to three locations, so that just shows you progress over a number of hours.”
The Collier County School District says it takes every threat seriously and that Friday’s threat remains an open investigation.