Janesville police respond to phony active shooter threat at Craig High School

Fake active shooter threats sweep south central Wisconsin
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 10:36 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Over a dozen schools in Wisconsin were involved in fake school shooter threats on Thursday.

One of those schools was Craig High School in Janesville.

Janesville police said their “direct connect” program is what helped them promptly address Thursday’s threats.

“We have radios actually in the school district’s hands,” Janesville police Lt. Mike Blaser said. “So if something happens they don’t have to dial a phone to call dispatch, they can get on the radio and say ‘this is what’s happening,’ and we would all hear that.”

Around 11 a.m. the Janesville police department received a phone call regarding an active school shooter at Craig High School.

Blaser said these widespread false threats are considered a swatting incident.

Swatting is intended to elicit a massive response from first responders.

“I’m not sure what’s triggering it, but we have seen this happen around the nation,” Blaser said. “It happened in the northeastern part of the state near Green Bay not too long ago, and now it’s made its way down to the southeastern part.”

Blaser said he believes the phone calls were computer generated.

“In many cases what we’re seeing is across the regions we’re seeing robotic calls where it’s a robotic voice and it’s a computer generated thing that is going out to different schools at the same time,” Blaser said.

In light of recent nationwide school shootings, such as the one in Uvalde, Texas, Blaser said Janesville police have several programs in place for these types of threats whether they’re fake or not.

“Our schools are safe and we are doing everything we can to continue to keep them safe so that our children come home every day,” Blaser said.

It’s still unknown where these fake calls came from and Blaser said Janesville police plans to work with several other agencies as they continue their investigation.

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