Township Police Add School Patrols Friday As Precaution

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Parents and students arriving Friday (today, Dec. 17, 2021) at some Pottsgrove School District buildings may see an enhanced presence of local police officers, Lower Pottsgrove Police Chief Rick Bell confirmed, as a response to an unspecific, nationally circulated challenge issued earlier this week on the Tik Tok social media platform. It advocated violence in schools.

Bell, in reply to a question raised during Thursday night’s (Dec. 16) township Board of Commissioners’ meeting, noted that other law enforcement agencies across the country were making similar plans, simply as a precaution. The Tik Tok item reportedly appeared as a video that originated in Arizona but went viral; it was said to have encouraged school shootings Friday.

There was no suggestion of any real or perceived threats against Pottsgrove.

School officials in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, and New York also said Thursday they would increase their police presence as a result of the post, The Associated Press reported. They characterized the threats as “vague, anonymous posts circulating online” which warned “that multiple schools would receive shooting and bomb threats.” The threats “were not considered credible,” they added.

The School District of Philadelphia is among regional districts that decided to heighten security and take no chances with the threat. So too were the Penn-Delco School District in Delaware County, and two school districts in nearby New Jersey, according to stories in the Friday edition of the Philly Voice news service, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Bell added he had already contacted and discussed with district Superintendent Dr. David Finnerty the department’s intent “just to deploy extra patrols. We’ll have our officers out there,” he told the township board. Commissioner Robert Mohollen, whose students attend Pottsgrove schools and who asked Bell about any prospective response, was pleased and thanked the chief.

Photo by Solen Feyissa via Unsplash, used under license