Seeing increase, KC police say they’re changing how they tackle school threats

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, KC police are changing the way they tackle school threats.

The Parkland shooting sparked walkouts and protests across the nation. Unfortunately, it's also led to an increase in school threats.

"I think all the time about when I walk into my kids school," said Karen Rogers with Moms Demand Action. "I think about where is their classroom in relation to the front door."

The Kansas City Police Department has investigated 21 threats of mass violence since Feb. 14. All but one of those threats have involved KC schools. Recently, one of those threats happened at De La Salle High School.

Bethany Redding has four young children and lives across the street from De La Salle High School. She was home when police responded to a threat at the school.

"When I went to get my son at school, just driving around I saw cops on every block," she said.

According to police reports, police received a tip about a student bringing a loaded gun after school to confront another student. When officers arrived outside the school, they discovered several loaded guns and took the teens into custody.

In a recent blog post, Kansas City Police Chief Richard Smith addressed how his department is now working to prevent mass shootings, including adding a new notification system and a new way of tracking reports of school threats.

Smith said most of the people making the threats are children. Part of their enhanced response includes adding social workers and Crisis Intervention Team officers to help provide treatment to those struggling with a mental illness.

The chief stressed the importance of reporting a potential threat. They've had families post questions on social media, but that's not always monitored. He urged people to call 911.