Police say keeping children safe is main priority when school threats happen

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RADFORD (WSLS 10) - Threats on school campuses can be scary.

Police departments provide extensive training and resources for investigating school threats.

Radford Police Officers said they have different resources available depending on the situation.

They have bomb sniffing dogs and investigators to hand writing analysis.

Officers said the goal is to make sure there's a proper investigation, because charges could range from assault to even terrorism.

"Regardless of the incident the number one concern is safety, making sure the students, faculty and everybody is safe in that process, and that's our number one concern when it comes down to it," Eric Martin a Detective Corporal with Radford Police said.

They said social media can play a role to help with their investigation.

"With social media there's always a trail, whether it be through twitter accounts, Facebook accounts or Yik Yak nothing is anonymous," Martin said.

Criminal Justice expert and Radford University Professor Doctor Tod Burke says social media can be a negative and positive.

It's positive because it helps investigators solve the case faster if the threat is found to be credible.

But Burke said social media can backfire as well.

"It hampers the investigation, when now, detectives may have to go on more wild goose chases, because now you have a threat that was made, and now you have I heard this," Burke said.

According to Burke, that can give more recognition to the person responsible for the threat, something he said doesn't need to happen.

He said instead of posting about threats on social media, just report it to police.

"Parents and students should be able to monitor social media, know what's going on, know what's being said take a threat seriously," Burke said.