TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)– Topeka Police are urging students to speak up when they hear or see something that may be threatening to public safety in schools.
On Tuesday, someone at the Topeka West High School picked up their phone and alerted police of the shooting threat that happened at the high school.
But it wasn’t through a 911 call, it was with an anonymous app.
“It just said there was an external problem outside,” Glenda Tremaine said, whose son goes to Topeka West. “And I assumed it was outside of the campus. Maybe someone was on the run and they were chasing somebody through a neighborhood. That was my understanding.”
Topeka Police went into action to find the man who made the threats. But they couldn’t have done it without the help of an app that’s installed on every device throughout Topeka Public Schools.
“This particular case at Topeka West came out of a Crime Stoppers tip,” Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran said. “And then dispatch received a 911 call. And so we had two very credible pieces of information that helped us find this individual.”
It’s not the only app students can use. To make kids feel even safer, the district has its own app where they can report things like bullying, personal crisis and safety risk. And they can do it anonymously.
Showing kids the most important thing you can do in a threatening situation, joking or serious, is to always say something.
“There are lives at stake here,” Chief Cochran said. “And those types of threats and those types of things do cause public safety and hazard. So we have to make sure if you know about it, it’s better to say something. “
“If you don’t think it’s right,” said Glenda. “If you don’t want to snitch on a friend, you got to think of your other friends. Their lives are in danger too. You can’t be a friend to one person, you have to be a friend to all of them.”
In addition to the report on the Crime Stoppers App, police said they also received a call about the threat.