By Alaina Beautiful Bald Eagle
A multi-agency law enforcement response resulted after posts on social media caused concern and public outcry.
On Monday morning, March 26, Ziebach County Sheriff Gary Cudmore was informed by the Dupree High School administration that several posts on a popular Facebook page alleged threats of gun violence.
“There was a social network posting about someone hearing a rumor and it stemmed from there,” Cudmore said.
According to Cudmore, he called the CRST Tribal Police Departmet and requested their assistance in the matter.
Upon the arrival of the tribal police, the school was placed on a soft lockdown, during which school buildings were secured, and all classroom and exterior doors were locked, leaving only one accessible entrance.
Cudmore said that students were able to walk to and from class, but doors were secured at the start of each class period.
According to CRST Police Captain Joseph Brings Plenty, three tribal officers and one criminal investigator from the CRST police department initially responded to the call’ however, one officer lost control of her police unit and roller her vehicle west of Lantry because of the icy road conditions.
Brings Plenty said the accident resulted in a total loss of the vehicle.
After four hours, the soft lockdown was lifted.
“The Facebook post was deemed as not being an immediate threat. The criminal investigators are still investigating where the post came from,” Brings Plenty said.
Sheriff Cudmore expressed frustrations about the incident.
“I take this kind of along the lines of misusing the 911 services. Threats made on social media should be treated the same way. If you hear of a threat, call law enforcement instead of putting it on social media,” Cudmore said.
Brings Plenty said responding to the call cost the tribal police thousands of dollars in salary, benefits, overtime, equipment loss, and manpower.