Statement from SLC Sheriff Bigwarfe about swatting incidents

CANTON, NY —  The St. Lawrence County Sheriffs Office is advising the public of swatting incidents that occurred at a number of schools in St. Lawrence County this morning. Law Enforcement agencies received phone calls that active shooter incidents were occurring at three schools, Canton Central, Potsdam Central and Gouverneur Central. Law Enforcement responded to each school, put them in lock down and tactically and meticulously cleared each school. It was determined quickly that the reports were completely unfounded and all students and staff were safe at each school. The St. Lawrence County Sheriffs Office with assistance of the State Police and local municipality police then checked on all the other schools in St. Lawrence County where no issues were reported.

Swatting is a harassment technique that involves calling 911 or other law enforcement agencies reporting a serious emergency (in these cases an active shooter incident) that are false reports or hoaxes. The Sheriffs Office as well as all law enforcement agencies take all calls of this nature as real incidents and serious no matter how dubious it seems. The St. Lawrence County Sheriffs Office takes swatting very seriously because it puts innocent people at risk. While we have no information to indicate a specific and credible threat, we will continue to work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to gather, share, and act upon threat information as it comes to our attention. We urge the public to remain vigilant, and report any and all activity and/or individuals to law enforcement immediately.

The Sheriff’s Office can be reached at (315) 379-2222.

Sheriff Brooks Bigwarfe