Heightened police presence at P.J.’s over social media threat

By Brandi Makuski

Police presence at a local junior high school was a little heavier than usual on Monday, as uniformed Stevens Point police were on hand after a reported threat made via social media.

In an email to parents on April 29, P.J. Jacob’s principal Dan Dobratz said a student from the school made a threat on social media sometime on Sunday. The nature of the threat was not disclosed.

The school reached out to police as soon as they became aware of the threat, Dobratz said.

“We do not believe this to be a credible threat to student safety, however, student safety is our first concern and we will be continuing the investigation this morning and today with the assistance of law enforcement,” his email read in part.

An investigation into the threat was complete a few hours later. Shortly after 9:30 a.m., Dobratz emailed parents again to notify them the student responsible had been identified, and the threat was not credible.

“Please know that we are not taking this lightly and have requested an additional law enforcement presence at P.J. Jacobs this morning and throughout the day,” he wrote. “Discipline will be administered according to district policy.”

Assistant Police Chief Tom Zenner said the threat was a vague one, “made from one student to another”.

“Unfortunately, in this day and age, you have to respond accordingly,” Zenner said. “We have protocols in place regardless of how vague the threat is. But the situation resolved, and discipline against the student will be handled within the established protocols of the Stevens Point School District.”

Zenner said the department sent two uniformed patrol officers to the school on April 29. The school already has a police liaison officer, Officer Joe Quizzler, who works in the school daily in plain clothes.

Dobratz said he was “proud” of those who reported the social media post but did not elaborate as to whether or not they were also students.