Law enforcement, school officials discuss school threats.

December 9, 2021

Law enforcement, school officials discuss school threats.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Officials representing local law enforcement and schools held a press conference today to discuss the recent pattern of threats against schools across the state in the wake of the Oxford High School shootings. However, they stopped short getting into specifics about any threats to schools in Mason County. 

The press conference was held at Ludington City Hall with Ludington Police Chief Timothy Kozal and Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Lauren Kreinbrink leading the conversation. 

“We today want to assure the citizens of Mason County that every conversation, phone call, email or social media post that remotely contains any information that is perceived as a threat will be taken seriously,” Chief Kozal said. “We work collaboratively amongst all law enforcement and all or our schools to vigorously investigate. There has never been a greater need to reduce the anxiety that the tragic events that take place throughout this nation. There are more questions than answers. 

“We will continue to train, share information, update our safety plans, and most importantly communicate with parents, students and the community. We will remain vigilant. We will be strong in the face of adversity. We all up here are the guardians of your children. 

“School is a place for enriching the lives of our young persons; in mind, spirit and body. I would ask everyone to be strong, to look out for one another, to see something, say something.”

Kreinbrink echoed Kozal’s comments.

“Here in Mason County, we are fortunate to have high quality educational institutions. Whether we are proud Orioles, Spartans, Cardinals or graduates or members of our other schools in Mason County, we as a county place a common emphasis on high quality education in our community.

“With that emphasis in mind, no student, no teacher, no administrator or staff member should go to school in fear that he or she will not make it home that night. Every student in Mason County deserves a safe place to learn. Every teacher, administrator, and staff member in Mason County deserves a safe place to work.

“Following the Oxford High School shooting on Nov. 30, 2021, threats against schools are on the rise and our county is not immune from those threats. Speaking on behalf of the law enforcement community as the elected prosecuting attorney and chief law enforcement official in Mason County, I have a message for those individuals who either have made or are planning to make threats against schools in our county. Your posts on social media, text messages, pictures, or phone calls have no entertainment value. The men and women of the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Ludington Police Department, Scottville Police Department, and Michigan State Police come highly trained and will not hesitate to thwart your threats and your actions. As the elected prosecuting attorney, I can assure you that you will see no leniency in either charging decisions should criminal charges be pursued and subsequent plea negotiations. During my campaign for the position of Mason County Prosecuting Attorney, I made it clear that I will not tolerate crime in Mason County, and those that commit crimes in Mason County will face appropriate consequences to their actions. Today, this statement continues to hold true. “

When asked if they could discuss specific threats to schools in Mason County, neither Kreinbrink or Kozal said enough evidence has been gathered to make any types of threats public at this time. 

Kreinbrink said she could not discuss the threats but did acknowledge that there have been threats in Mason County. She said she did not know specifically if the threats were coming from adolescents or adults and that she couldn’t say the exact number. 

Mason County Central Superintendent Jeff Mount said that MCC has not yet had a threat that warranted closing down the school. Mount said he could not speak about other county schools, but said that all county schools work alongside law enforcement in a countywide school safety planning committee that has similar protocols. 

“Our partnerships with law enforcement has been strong since the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings on Jan. 3, 2013,” Mount said. “Today, we wouldn’t do anything different than we would have prior to Oxford because we have good plans. If there was something warranted to shut down we haven’t had that kind of threat. We are confident in our school resource offices, sheriff’s office, state police are at our call when we need them.”

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