Covington County using Facebook to crack down on school threats.

By  | 

ANDALUSIA, AL (WTVY) -- As technology has evolved, so have school threats. Just ask the Covington County Sheriff's Office.

In one week alone, the Covington County Sheriff's Department has investigated 3 school threats.

One at a Florala school, another at Red Level schools, and a third at Straughn High School.

All three were made on social media.

Sheriff Dennis Meeks says Facebook was instrumental in helping them track down the threats.

He says, "With them getting back to us as quick as they did, and us being able to find out who these individuals were, and get this put to rest. Everything got back to normal a lot quicker."

Here's how it works: Investigators reach out to Facebook, the social media giant then traces the IP address of whoever made the threat, and then deputies are able to pinpoint an address.

Thanks to Facebook's help, law enforcement in Andalusia is able to track down people who post school threats to social media in just over two hours. A process that originally took two to three days.

"If it hadn't been the next day or 2 days later, we might not have known, where these individuals were," says Meeks.

But the Covington County Sheriff has a message for all parents no matter where they live, no one is invisible on social media.

Meeks says, "You know it goes back to parent responsibility, to teach your child what they can do with those phones, and what they don't need to do with those phones."

All three of the threats were determined to be hoaxes. Two of the children who made threats are in custody of youth services while the 16 year old was taken to the Diversion Center in Dothan.