The Costs of a Fake Bomb Threat

By: Lindsey Yates
By: Lindsey Yates

Barren County is still playing catch-up, after a string of bomb threats were made to three of its schools.

Local law enforcement and school officials talk about the toll a hoax of this magnitude takes on a community.

"It's a crime bottom line. If you talk about bombing a school it's a crime, and a lot of them don't know that,"says Sheriff Mike Houchens, Barren County Sheriff's Office.

What may seem like a harmless prank to get out of class early means time and money lost.

"These volunteer fire departments are operating on a limited budget as is everybody else in the community, as far as first responders go. When we call out the fire department they are using fuel in their fire trucks, their taking their personnel from other full time jobs,"says Houchens.

After first responders and canine units are called in Houchens estimates it could cost several thousand dollars to respond to a bomb threat.

"The cost just keeps going up and going up and going up and we will get to the point where were spending money that we should be spending but that we need to spend to take care of the threat,"says Houchens.

"If we were to calculate that I think it would be very astronomical,"says Mark Wallace, Barren County Schools.

But it's not all about the dollars.

"You've lost hours of instruction with students. Depending on the time of the day students may be engaged in certain activities. It certainly is an inconvenience,"says Wallace.

And just because the threat was fake doesn't mean lives aren't in danger.

"You're putting other people in danger, some first responders may be traveling with their emergency equipment on and putting other drivers on the road in hazardous conditions,"says Houchens

"It's not just a prank and it is a big deal because it is affecting the lives of many people,"says Wallace.

Wallace says attendance decreased after the bomb threats were made.

Five students and one adult have been arrested and charged in connection to the bomb threats.

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