Officials discuss hoax threats, active shooter safety for upcoming school year

VIDEO: Officials host press conference about active shooter precaution, safety

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Several law enforcement agencies held a press conference and discussed the consequences of hoax threats and what residents can do in an active shooter situation.

The conference was at 10 a.m. at the Tyler Police Department located at 711 West Ferguson Street in Tyler.

The Tyler Police Department, Smith County Sheriff's Office, Smith County District Attorney's Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Dallas division will all be in attendance at this press conference.

During the press conference, Tyler Police Chief Jim Toler reported that there was an "elevated number" of hoax threats since January. He stated that law enforcement takes all threats, whether they are considered a "hoax" or not, seriously and those responsible will be prosecuted for their actions. He warned against even jokingly sharing threats in private messages, mentioning that those can be screenshotted, shared and be considered a threat.

The Smith County District Attorney's Office discussed the legal repercussions of hoax threats. Smith County Assistant District Attorney Taylor Heaton went through the prosecution of threats and hoax threats.

Sgt. Darrell Coslin with the Smith County Sheriff's Office shared how citizens can prepare and protect themselves during an active shooter situation. He advised people to be "engaged in their own survival" and choose to fight instead of hiding during a situation.

He also recommended that citizens participate in active shooter training. Sgt. Coslin stated that people should be bettered prepared for active shooter situation so that they do not panic and "freeze" if a situation was to occur.

FBI-Dallas Special Agent-in-Charge Eric K. Jackson shared the agency's hope for a safer school year, asking for the public's help in reporting suspicious activity. They recommended that if citizens observe anything suspicious or encounter anything that could be a threat that they should call 911 or contact their local law enforcement immediately.

All in all, law enforcement expressed their hopes for a safe school year and assured that they are vigilant when it comes to the safety of students.

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