The Dodge City Police Department announced on Aug. 27 at approximately 10:21 a.m. a student at Dodge City High School was arrested for making criminal threats to the school.
On the DCPD Facebook page, the DCPD revealed on Thursday, Aug. 26, Dodge City USD 443 officials and DCPD School Resource Officer received information regarding a threat to Dodge City High School. The suspicion of this threat was relayed to DCPD.
“Our SRO Unit and school officials worked as a team very late into the night on this situation. Early this morning, school officials and the SRO Unit determined who made the threat and arrested the juvenile male. The juvenile is a current student of DCHS,” said DCPD in their Facebook press release. “No one has been injured or hurt in this case, but we take these incidents very seriously. We do not believe there is any additional threat to the high school; however, we do have an additional officer at the high school for the day. No further information will be released at this time. “
Dodge City Public Schools posted on their Facebook Page at approximately 10:13 a.m., “There was a threat made to the HS. An arrest was made and the individual is in custody. Students and staff are safe to remain in school. At the time of concern District Leadership worked closely with law enforcement who reacted swiftly to handle the situation.”
The juvenile had made the threat via Snapchat.
Dodge City Police Chief Drew Francis, put down rumors that the student was armed.
“No, he was not armed, and no firearms have been discovered,” said Francis. “This is about messages being posted to cause panic for the sake of causing panic.”
Despite this, rumors continued to spread over social media.
The rumor that multiple “gunmen” was also making rounds.
When the rumor was brought to his attention Chief Francis responded, “No firearm was part of this. This was a kid thinking he is being funny by sending a snapchat to four others in a group chat.”
Francis continued, “This is where the “five kids involved” rumor is coming from. There was nothing to indicate there was ever a credible threat to the school, but we do not just dismiss it.
“So, we work the investigation through and then hold them accountable for the act regardless of what their intention was.”
DCPD addressed the rumors with a separate Facebook post at 1:59 p.m., reiterating their previous post.
They also addressed why, that despite having knowledge of the, now-considered empty, criminal threats the night before the arrest, they did not make the arrest until the next morning.
“Even though we were alerted the night before of a “threat,” there was nothing found as we investigated to indicate there was ever a credible threat to the school; however, we do not just dismiss it. We work the investigation through and then hold the person accountable for their actions.”
Meanwhile, Dodge City Public Schools updated the situation on their end via Facebook around that time, “school remains in session and activities are continuing as scheduled. Any parent or guardian wanting to excuse their student must call the high school or go to the high school office.”
Parents and guardians professed frustration with being unable to contact the school due to the influx justified panic from the event, with the spread of misinformation certainly not helping.
“My student called me directly and I excused her through her teacher, it is almost impossible to get through to the schools phone line,” commented one parent.
The student’s name has not been revealed due to being a juvenile.
A case will be filed with the Ford County Attorney’s Office on the felony charge of Criminal Threat.