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Police: Threats against schools in Salt Lake County not believed to be credible

By Carter Williams, | Updated - Jan 22nd, 2019 @ 6:32pm | Posted - Jan 22nd, 2019 @ 2:07pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — Police from various agencies in Salt Lake County say they don’t believe threats made against daycare and preschools across the valley are credible. However, the threats led police to search multiple schools in Salt Lake City, Millcreek and Cottonwood Heights Tuesday.

Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking said police received calls from different daycares or preschools; and in those calls, a male caller threatened violence toward the school. Officials from Unified and Cottonwood Heights police departments also confirmed they received similar calls.

"It's not even fathomable to think about shooting up a daycare. That's a really sick sense of humor and, on top of it, you're putting a lot of people's lives at risk," Wilking said.

Police then searched schools associated with the area the calls were coming from. No students were harmed.

Granite School district officials said a shelter in place was issued for Evergreen Jr. High, William Penn, Roosevelt and Mill Creek schools in the school district. Lockouts were placed at Open Classroom, Ensign, Liberty and Wasatch elementary schools as police searched Tuesday, according to Salt Lake City School District Superintendent Lexi Cunnigham.

All lockouts or shelter in place procedures issued in relation to the threats were lifted as of Tuesday afternoon, district officials said.

“SLCPD does not have any information at this time that would make us think that these threats are credible, but we will continue to respond to any threats, real or otherwise, of harm to children and schools in our community,” Salt Lake police wrote in a statement.

Cottonwood Heights Police Lt. Dan Bartlett said any possible threat in Cottonwood Heights was cleared by early Tuesday afternoon.

While the threat wasn't believed to be credible, it rattled people like Veronica Nelson, executive program director for Child Team, Inc., which is located in Salt Lake City's Avenues neighborhood.

"You're responsible for all these little lives, and to have someone intend to do them harm is a frightening feeling," she said. "No matter how much you plan, it does leave you feeling helpless."

Contributing: Ladd Egan, KSL TV

Carter Williams

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