CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — First responders quickly reacted to hoax calls around the Mountain State on Wednesday, December 8, 2022. The magnitude of the response is being called a success.
According to the State Department of Homeland Security, at least 15 West Virginia county 911 centers received calls about possible threats at countless schools. When that happens police and sheriff’s departments are dispatched from the call center with the presumption that the threats are real. The state’s Emergency Operations Center and school officials are notified, too.
It’s all part of a new safety protocol that the governor’s office just unveiled in October.
“It really went pretty well for the first time. We had great response. We had great coordination between local state and federal authorities. And I want everyone to understand that our children’s safety is our number one priority,” said Rob Cunningham, from the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security.
The Department of Homeland Security is comparing the recorded 911 calls and says the voices and messages on some are very similar, indicating a very intentional effort on the hoax, even if there was just one person making all of the calls. But the motive for all of this remains unknown.
Several other states have had waves of these school “swatting calls” including Virginia, North and South Carolina, and California.