School threat "not credible" according to Sheriff

The more you know about a threat to kill 20 local school children on April 15th, the less likely you might be to take it seriously.

Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers today went public with his opinion that the threat is simply not credible.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a hoax, but it’s not credible,” said Sheriff Rogers. “We don’t want to play into the hands of somebody that’s just trying to stir up fear or any type of reaction that’s not necessary.”

The sheriff believes that the public warning issued on Tuesday about the threat was too vague. It warned that an anonymous person had threatened to kill 20 kids in five different schools in Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties on April 15th.

There are more than 100 public school buildings alone in those two counties, and today there were arguably heightened security concerns at each and every one.

“Pretty scary considering everything that's been happening in the schools lately,” said Roosevelt School parent Jessica Utter of Elkhart. “Yeah, I think I'm going to keep my kid home that day.”

Parent Chris Watson reached the same conclusion: “It could be a credible gun threat, could be a student trying to get out of school; but I’m not going to take any chances, my son will be staying home that day.”

Sheriff Rogers feels many parents might be over reacting, given what is known about the source of the threat.

Turns out it was made three months ago at the Elkhart license branch by someone who was writing in the ‘reading room.’

“In this case, it was a day in January that this note was found on the bathroom stall wall of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Elkhart. It wasn't even a school, it was at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles,” said Sheriff Rogers. “We need to make sure that more information is given out so parents can see, you know, they’re right, that’s not a credible threat.”

The sheriff feels it is unlikely that a credible threat would have been left to be discovered by a license branch custodian.

“It’s not credible in the sense that we would deem it by giving it, by using a lot of manpower on it,” said Sheriff Rogers.

The sheriff was unwilling to discuss exactly what steps would be taken to enhance security at area schools, although he said that an action plan was in place.

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