School threats keep law enforcement agencies busy

School threats keep law enforcement agencies busy
Nearly two dozens schools in Kentucky and southern Indiana have investigated threats made by students. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Since the deadly mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, there have been a wave of threats against schools in WAVE Country. (Source: NBC News)
Since the deadly mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, there have been a wave of threats against schools in WAVE Country. (Source: NBC News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Just days after the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida, there has been no shortage of police investigating terroristic threats around WAVE Country.

"When I was in high school you might get into fist fights but you didn't slaughter," UofL assistant professor of Criminal Justice Michael Losavio recalled.

Figuring out what changed in the minds of students is a part of what Losavio does.

>> RELATED: 5 arrested following 'credible threat' against southern Indiana school

"Those same adolescents themselves publish this stuff, now you see this replicated everywhere," Losavio said. "Why do they do it? Again, it's because their minds aren't developed. They think it's going to be funny or cute."

So what is the difference between someone blowing off steam on social media and someone making a credible threat?

Losavio explained it's often difficult to tell the difference between the two. However, he said he knows law enforcement officials and school officials would rather err on the side of caution than pay the price of losing lives.

To thwart these threats, Losavio explained that law enforcement agencies have multiple tools.

"(They have) analytical tools which can analyze vast social media streams to look for potential problems," Losavio explained. He said that tool is similar to the ones businesses might use to see what buzzwords are trending or how well-talked-about their company might be on social media.

Losavio also explained that traditional policing always plays a big role.

"Crowdsource model -- police rely on the community helping them to keep the community safe," Losavio said. "So people, when they see threats on social media sites, they will report them."

Law enforcement agencies will also have a good relationship with gun stores around town. Those store owners or other community members may call suspicious behavior in.

JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio wanted to address parents' concerns about safety in the district's schools. He published an open letter on the topic you can read by clicking or tapping here.

Copyright 2018 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.