Call for Action Investigation: Cost of investigating school threats

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - 11 News is getting answers about how much our local law enforcement is spending to investigate school threats.

Between the El Paso County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado Springs Police Department, they've spent nearly $13,000 in recent weeks. That's the cost to pay the student resource officers to investigate school threats since the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

Eleven reports from schools in Colorado Springs and El Paso County have been credible and non-credible threats.

"We are seeing such a drastic increase in school threats," El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jacqueline Kirby told 11 News.

Two Peyton High School students are now facing felonies for making credible threats.

"They should, absolutely," stated Kirby in reference to the felony charges. "Even if it just was a comment that they were making, they absolutely should."

A few days after the Peyton incident, a student from Widefield High school was arrested and is facing the same serious charges.

"I struggle to understand the joy or the benefit that somebody would get from inciting that kind of fear and panic into your schoolmates," Kirby said.

On Tuesday, a student at Mitchell High School was issued a summons from the Colorado Springs Police Department for making a threatening joke of violence. The student is also facing disciplinary consequences from the school.

The sheriff's office tells 11 News when school resource officers are forced to investigate these claims, threats, and rumors it takes valuable time away from all the other students.

"We've got to bring the community and schools together with panel of experts and get some answers so hopefully we can again see a downturn," Kirby said.

There will be a town hall meeting with local law enforcement, school officials and mental health experts next week to address these issues. It is scheduled to take place on March 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the ENT Center for the Performing Arts at UCCS. The center is located at 5225 N. Nevada Ave.