Putnam County aims to stay ahead of threats with new online reporting tool
Putnam County authorities have unveiled a new system to protect local businesses, houses of worship and schools from all possible threats.
County Sheriff Kevin McConville is asking Putnam residents to use the online threat assessment management tool to report odd behavior among their peers in hopes of preventing violence anywhere people gather.
"They're really cracking down on security right now," said Dorian Schiavo, a Carmel High School junior. "I kind of understand why they're doing it."
Schiavo and other students said there was another instance of antisemitic vandalism this school year. Toward the end of last school year, News 12 reported on similar incidents at Carmel schools and other districts in Putnam County.
The threat reporting tool asks whether the person being reported has gone off medication, whether they have started using illicit drugs and whether they have access to weapons.
Once the report is submitted, a process involving mental health experts, the county's youth bureau and other agencies automatically kicks off.
At a news conference to announce the launch of the threat reporting tool, Sheriff McConville said local police agencies, counselors and county social workers will assess each tip and intervene if necessary.
The tool may also help avoid disruptions that come with school district's protocol when certain threats are reported. McConville said he would like to get ahead of those threats.
"Not everyone is a true threat," he said, "but we'd rather investigate each and every report to us and ensure that there are not threats," he said.
Sheriff McConville is asking all local government agencies and school districts to share the threat reporting tool on their websites. As part of a wider threat assessment program, the sheriff is planning classes to help teachers look out for and better report "pre-attack behaviors."
The tool can be found at pctam.net.