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Increased police presence at some local schools in response to threats made on social media

Sirens
Posted at 11:46 AM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 11:46:20-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — There will be an increased police presence at some local schools in response to threats made on social media in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Buffalo Saturday.

Monday, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said Buffalo police and partnering local law enforcement agencies were investigating and would prosecute if necessary. Brown also said arrests have already been made and more information would be available at a later time. During the same news conference, the U.S. Attorney's Office and Erie County District Attorney's Office announced investigations into the social media threats.

Around 4:30 p.m. Monday the Erie County District Attorney's Office said there were no credible threats to the public but the investigation was ongoing.

In response to the threats, there will be an increased police presence at some local schools.

The Buffalo Public School District released the following statement on its website:

"Dear BPS Community,

Throughout the day, our district was made aware of multiple social media threats targeting retail locations, dining locations, sporting events, etc. The district was even made aware of a generalized threat on a social media post naming schools in multiple districts including Buffalo Public Schools.

Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Buffalo Police Department, Erie County Sheriff's Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations do not believe the messages posted to be credible threats. However, know that the district is taking additional safety measures. As such, you can expect to see consistent police presence near and around our school buildings. Thank you."
- Dr. Tonja Williams, Interim Superintendent

The North Tonawanda Police Department released the following statement on social media:

"Please expect a larger than usual police presence in and around our schools this week due to the threats made online to schools in the area. This is not meant to alarm anyone as our department works with the school district to keep our children, schools and this community safe."
- NT police

The Niagara Wheatfield Central School District released the following statement on its website:

"The District was made aware of a generalized threat on a social media post naming multiple school districts, including Niagara Wheatfield Law enforcement does not believe this to be a credible threat, however the District is taking additional safety measures. You can expect to see additional police presence at all of our buildings. Below is what was posted. Please know there is no greater priority than the safety of our school community. Sincerely, Daniel G. Ljiljanich Superintendent"
- Niagara Wheatfield Central School District

The University at Buffalo police also posted the following on social media:

"UB police are aware of social media posts and related rumors indicating continued threats of violence — primarily targeting local off-campus businesses — following Saturday’s horrific mass shooting at the Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo.

While none of the threats contains anything specific to UB, University Police are receiving calls from concerned parents, students, faculty and staff who are sharing those posts and expressing concerns about the safety of the campus.

We have been in contact with our intelligence partners in state and federal law enforcement and have confirmed there is no indication that these threats are legitimate. An investigation into the social media post threatening local businesses is ongoing and local law enforcement is taking preventative measures.

Based on the heightened concerns, we felt it necessary to reassure the campus community that we are continuously monitoring the situation and have increased security at certain campus locations and planned university events out of an abundance of caution. We will keep the UB community informed of any threats that may impact the university."
- UB police