The Jamestown Police Department announced Thursday it has found no credible evidence following rumors of a threat against Jamestown High School.
Det. Paul Abbott said his department has been working with the Jamestown Public Schools District regarding rumors of a threat against the East Second Street school. The rumor, he said, involved "someone who threatened they would come (into the school) and do harm."
An investigation, however, turned up no credible evidence of any threat, which was passed along to Jamestown police by a resource officer in the high school.
"Nothing kills rumors like the facts," Abbott said. "That being said, if we feel there is a credible threat, people will be charged."
When contacted, the Jamestown Public Schools released a statement:
"Over the last two days, several stories have been shared between students and community members regarding possible threats at Jamestown High School," said Superintendent Daniel Kathman. "These stories have been repeated by many and amplified through social media.
"... It is very important for the public to know that we have uncovered no credible evidence of any threat to the students or staff at Jamestown High School. We have no reason to suspect that the safety of our students has been compromised and would like to assure everyone of that conclusion."
In light of recent events in Newtown, Conn., Jamestown Police will be increasing their presence in and around all of the city's schools, Abbott said. The detective said the increased patrols are not the results of the rumors.
"The safety of students and staff is paramount to both the Jamestown Police and Jamestown Public Schools," Abbott said. "The department has always maintained a strong presence around the schools, and this increased effort is not to address any specific threat, issue or problem, but a proactive approach to help ensure that safety of all students and staff.
"The Jamestown Police will investigate any threat made to a school and any person making a threat, whether it be deemed credible or not, will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
A shooter in Connecticut opened fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, killing 20 students and six staff members. The 20 year-old shooter killed himself as police arrived at the school.
"We want to send a clear message that we are in the schools and around the schools," Abbott said, noting the recent shootings in Connecticut and Oregon. "We want people to feel as safe as possible."
Added Kathman: "We will continue in our collaborative effort to investigate any and all future reports and will, of course, immediately respond should we uncover a genuine threat. To date, we have no credible evidence of such a threat."
Such threats are happening elsewhere too. Public schools in Genesee and Lapeer counties, neighboring counties north of the Detroit area, started the Christmas break Wednesday night rather than hold classes the rest of the week, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, police investigated whether students made false claims about guns at the high school in Grand Blanc, said John Potbury, a spokesman for the Genesee County prosecutor who told the Associated Press.
Last week's shooting at a Connecticut elementary school "changed all of us. ... Canceling school is the right thing to do," Genesee County schools said in a statement.
Elsewhere in Michigan, Cass City schools were supposed to hold classes for three days this week but decided to cancel after students said they overheard another student making a possible gun threat against a staff member last week.