How local police departments follow up on tips - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

How local police departments follow up on tips

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(photo MGN-Online) (photo MGN-Online)

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, the FBI faced backlash after not acting on a tip received on the shooter.

A week later, many are questioning what exactly happens when you report a tip to local or federal law enforcement. 

While local law enforcement cannot speak in regards to what happened in the Parkland, Florida shooting, Springfield and Chicopee police broke down how they handle their local potential threats. 

The FBI came forward, admitting proper protocols were not taken to follow up on a tip they received early in January from a person close to the shooter. 

In Chicopee, Officer Mike Wilk said this should by no means keep from the people speaking up when they see something suspicious.
"They're our eyes and ears, they know their neighborhood. If they see something that doesn't seem right, they need to call us," said Wilk. 
Wilk noted that it doesn't matter if they get one call or a dozen, they always investigate.
"We will look into a background person registry and if they are from Chicopee, we send an officer to speak with them or have them come in," Wilk added. 
He also said the tips that come into his department don't always come from western Massachusetts. 

"Shortly after the Florida shooting I did receive a message on Facebook from someone in South Carolina that they saw on a Facebook page by someone in Chicopee making concerning comments about guns and incidents like that. [We] took that information, generated [a] report, found they did live in Chicopee, did a background check, and they were called in for question," Wilk explained. 
Springfield Police said they also take every threat and tip seriously.
Just last week, police were notified about a student at the Springfield High School of Science and Technology allegedly posting a threat involving a weapon against the school on social media.

In the end, the student told police it was a joke but Police Spokesperson Ryan Walsh said it's no laughing matter.
"If you notice something and it rises to the occasion that you're suspicious, let us know. They investigate every tip to determine the seriousness and validity of it," said Walsh. 
Walsh told Western Mass News that if you do make a threat, even as a joke, you could face charges.
In this new age of technology, police say social media is a great way to get information out there quickly and you can contact them through their social media pages.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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