BEAUFORT, Sc. (WSAV) – Last week, Beaufort County schools had a number of active shooter threats posted online through apps like Facebook and Snapchat. Now, the Beaufort County Sheriff is using South Carolina Crime Stoppers to create one safe app where students can leave tips.
“If you remember what happened down in Broward County, there was a Youtube posting of… a remark with a potential threat. It went to the FBI, don’t know if anything was done about it or not,” said Sheriff PJ Tanner at a school meeting Wednesday.
He added that students and staff knew Florida school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was dangerous…
“We also got information that this young man had 36 calls for service by law enforcement in Broward County. Why didn’t you do something about it?” he said.
It’s not something Tanner is going to slip by in his county.
“We want all information,” he said, “Anything, that anyone, you, or any of our 22,000 plus students thinks is important.”
While schools have their own methods for students to share concerns, Tanner wants one safe, secure outlet for everyone.
“If we can focus on one outlet to use to push information to law enforcement,” he said.
He’s asked South Carolina Crime Stoppers to add a “school safety” section to their current app called P3 Tips.
“We want these 22,000 plus students to have that app,” Tanner said, “We’d love for every one of them to have that app.”
The app is currently monitored by a Fusion Center in Columbia, where every tip is pushed to the local law enforcement.
“When it comes to us, we have a time bracket that we have to respond,” Tanner said, “We have to take the information, investigate the information that was given to us, and report back to the Fusion Center what our findings are.”
Tanner is also working on rewards for tips that prove to be true.
“It’s an important element because maybe it would encourage someone to utilize that, to push information,” he said.
The app is not just for students; it’s free for anyone who has a smart device. They hope to have the school section of it up and running within the next week, and they will inform the public through Nixle.