Department of Public Safety says its seen an uptick in threats made, especially against officials
Jul 20, 2022, 7:46 AM | Updated: 3:12 pm
(Annie Barker /Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — There has been an uptick in cases of threats, according to the Department of Public Safety. The number of threats the agency investigated increased in the last year, with many of them being against Utah lawmakers.
Lt. Nick Street, spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety, there was about a 5% jump in cases over a year’s time.
“So 2019, we were under 100 [cases]. And then 2020 we went over 100 coming into our threat management unit,” Street said. “I believe we saw a 5% increase to date from what we had last year, so we’re on track to see over 100 in 2022.”
Street said that although targets aren’t limited in scope, on the heels of recent elections and after more than 2-years of COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates, threats against lawmakers and state health officials are helping to drive those numbers up.
Some threats are veiled and made over social media and can be handled or defused.
“Threat management is not something that happens in the shadows. It’s a very public thing where we involve a lot of members of the community to work through issues of things like bullying, to grievances with elected leaders, to grievances to other systems of government” Street said.
Other times, more action is needed. Street said that sometimes people voice a concern “above and beyond what might be healthy.”
When that happens, the DPS uses a multi-disciplinary approach to figure out if someone is on a path to violence. The agency uses standardized tools created by mental health experts to deal with a threat they believe might lead to violence.
“Our goal is to manage that, steer them away from that, and continue to use community support to keep them from going down that path again,” Street explained.
FBI determines suspicious substance sent to lawmaker not to be a threat
Co-founder of FanX Convention accused of making bomb threats
We want to hear from you.
Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.
Today’s Top Stories
- Pride-wrapped UTA bus pulled from downtown Pride Parade
- Two people killed in road rage crash near Eagle Mountain are identified
- Suspect killed, Ogden police officer stable after officer-involved shooting
- Utah will loan first-time homebuyers $20,000 for new homes
- Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Weber, Box Elder, Davis, Tooele counties
- Kouri Richins family satisfied with partial gag order issued in case, says spokesman
- Boats returning to the Great Salt Lake Marina
- Man urges pet owners to be cautious around rivers after Oliver the dog was swept away
- Boppy Newborn Lounger pillow blamed in more infant deaths
- Multiple leads being followed up on after motorcyclist shot at passenger car, victim is stable