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Officers will be present at schools Friday, Dec. 21
POULSBO — The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department plans to have as many deputies in public schools Friday as it can, according to sheriff’s spokesman Scott Wilson.
The department will bring in off-duty personnel too, Wilson said.
Schools include those within the North Kitsap School District, where detectives have been investigating threats of violence since Tuesday, Wilson said.
The threats, Wilson said, are unsubstantiated.
An email to parents from school district spokeswoman Jenn Markaryan confirmed there were threats made within NKSD, but classes will continue.
“We have become aware of some rumors of threats at schools in our district [Friday],” Markaryan wrote. “There is nothing to indicate that there is a credible threat to student safety.”
The district encourages anyone with information about threats being made to call (360) 779-8721.
The school district will release all students by noon Friday because of a furlough day. High school and middle school students will be released just before 11 a.m. Kindergarten and preschool will be released at 11:55 a.m. Elementary schools will end their day at noon.
There are two reasons law enforcement will have a presence: it will be one week since the Newtown massacre, and some interpret the Mayan calendar to say the world will end Dec. 21.
“We are going to be there for the students, staff and faculty,” Wilson said. He said the presence will, if anything, add calm.
Wilson said that 99 percent of the time, people making threats toward a school and its population are underage. Wilson said making a threat, even as a joke, can warrant an arrest.
Poulsbo police have investigated threats inside city limits, Poulsbo Deputy Chief Bob Wright said. There have not been any direct threats against any schools, he said.
Wright said anyone making threats against a school or person will be arrested on threat charges and booked into jail. The case will be forwarded to the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office. It could be a misdemeanor or a felony.
Wright urges anyone that knows of a threat or rumor to contact police by calling 9-1-1.
Patty Page, NKSD's superintendent, said while the district takes all potential threats seriously, nothing that has been investigated has checked out as a risk. School districts across the nation, she said, are all dealing with similar concerns.