Last week the nation was horrified to hear of yet another tragic school shooting. This week, a local teenager was taken into custody after allegedly making threats about his desire to shoot students at a high school. These are events that touch us all.
I wanted to say how grateful I am to Bend Police for quickly investigating the tip that they received, deeming the threat credible and taking the youth into custody in a matter of a few hours. I am also grateful that Bend-La Pine Schools foster a culture where students are encouraged to say something when they see something.
We have a wonderful partnership between Police and Schools that provide School Resource Officers in the schools. Following tips from students and parents, Bend Police and School Resource Officers have investigated three threats against our schools in the last 10 days. It gives me hope to know that this teamwork helps to address safety concerns.
It is my hope that our entire community follow the lead of local students and take a zero-tolerance approach to threats of violence. If you see or hear something that doesn’t seem right, please speak up. Call our non-emergency line at 541-693-6911 at any time, day or night. Also, there’s a local community tip line called Safe Oregon on Firststeporegon.org, which is on the iPads of local students in grades 6 through 12. First Step is made possible thanks to collaboration between the Bend Police Department, Bend-La Pine Schools and other community partners.
I am grateful to be the Mayor of a beautiful community that values safety and security and to have public safety employees that work and train tirelessly to protect and support our residents. There are good people throughout our community that also share this goal. It’s one thing that can bring us all together and give us a shared focus.
I hope that you will join me in a personal pledge to ensure the safety and security of our community by reporting any threats of violence to the non-emergency line. As you’ve seen, these reports are taken very seriously and can result in lives saved.
Mayor Casey Roats