Macomb County law enforcement responds in wake of school shooting

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published December 8, 2021

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MACOMB COUNTY — Following the fatal shooting at Oxford High School and a slew of school closures due to threats across metro Detroit, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office is making one thing clear: Copycat threats are criminal violations, and in Macomb County, such criminal violations will be prosecuted.

“All of us share the same grief over the senseless tragedy and loss this week in Oxford,” a press release from the Prosecutor’s Office states.

It notes that in the two years prior to the Parkland shooting in Florida in February 2018, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office processed 17 charges of false threats of terrorism each year. In 2019, that number jumped to over 100 charges.

“Anyone thinking of issuing such a threat should know that, as Macomb County Prosecutor, I have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to issuing terroristic threats against our schools, and if you do so, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido said.

In Michigan, false report or threat of terrorism comes with up to 20 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

“That is where we start in our office, and if you issue the threat, we will charge you, prosecute you and put you in prison upon conviction,” Lucido said.

He said that his office will work with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement to charge those responsible for any threats and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

“The education of our children in an environment where they remain safe must be the top priority of law enforcement,” he said. “Any criminal activity that disrupts that will not be tolerated in Macomb County and will be prosecuted, period.”

To students, Lucido said the Prosecutor’s Office is here to protect them and will stop at nothing to keep them safe.

“You will not be in trouble for sharing information with law enforcement,” he said. “Coming forward and being honest helps law enforcement and the Prosecutor’s Office keep you safe. If you see something, say something, and if you tell law enforcement, they can act.”

On Dec. 2, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office released a letter to the public. It detailed that, in the prior two days, 28 calls were taken for service regarding school threats.

“Please know that we are taking every report we receive with the highest priority,” the letter states.

People can report tips confidentially on criminal activities or potential harm directed at students, school employee, or schools 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling 855-5OK2SAY, texting 652729, emailing OK2SAY@mi.gov or downloading the app by visiting michigan.gov/ok2say.

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