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The original item was published from 12/7/2021 2:27:45 PM to 1/8/2022 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: December 7, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Statement from Chief Denis Otterness regarding report of school violence threat

Statement from Chief Denis Otterness

On Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, at approximately 9:29 p.m., the West Fargo Police Department responded to a report of a school violence threat.  Information was obtained that a specific threat was posted via social media and involved Cheney Middle School in West Fargo.

After receiving the first complaint, a number of additional complaints were received by concerned parents and students.  A number of these reports were made directly to West Fargo Police Department School Resource Officers (SRO’s) from several different schools within West Fargo Public Schools.

SRO’s and Investigators worked tirelessly all night to identify those responsible for the threat. This included conducting interviews and requesting information from the social media companies that were involved. In addition to the investigative work, we worked collaboratively with the administration from West Fargo Public Schools to provide them with needed information to make critical and timely decisions.

Today, the West Fargo Police Department has an increased presence at all West Fargo Public Schools. Some of that increased presence will be visible to the public and some will not. I will not provide security-specific details related to the operations of our staff. We will continue to investigate this incident until all those responsible have been identified.

I want to underscore the vital role our SRO program played in this incident. The relationships they have built with students, staff, and administrators in the schools led to the tips coming into the police department so preventive action could be taken.

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