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El Paso ISD joins multiple law enforcement agencies in pledge to address El Paso-area school threats

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT — Feb. 22, 2023) — El Paso ISD joined with multiple law enforcement agencies and area school district officials Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, for a news conference to address the alarming surge in social media threats directed toward El Paso schools. Law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies came together to show the safety of El Paso’s children is paramount and threats directed towards El Paso schools will not be tolerated.

In 2022, there were almost 6,000 school threats reported to the FBI, which represents a 60% increase from 2021. Throughout El Paso, law enforcement agencies are diverting resources to address a minimum of three threats a day from each school across Region 19 school districts.

“Collaboration and cooperation among all of our law enforcement partners is the key to keeping our students safe and thriving in our community,” said El Paso Independent School District Chief of Police Manuel Chavira. “Familiarity in our communications and consistency in our law enforcement responses ensures efficiency and effectiveness in all operational activities.”

Any member of the community can report threats to law enforcement in many ways. If there is an immediate threat to life, please call 911. All other tips can be reported to your preferred law enforcement agency. The City of El Paso has several methods established and are monitored 24/7 by law enforcement personnel: 915-832-4400 or text 847-411 with “EPPD and then tip”. You can also download the “El Paso PD” app to text tips and receive alerts. The FBI can also receive tips at or at 915-832-5000.

Along with El Paso ISD, the multi-agency press conference involved U.S. Attorney Office of the Western District of Texas Jose Luis Gonzalez, the Federal Bureau of Investigation El Paso Field Office, Texas Department of Public Safety-West Texas Region, El Paso County District Attorney Bill Hicks, El Paso County Attorney’s Office, El Paso Police Department, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, El Paso County Constable-Precinct 1, Horizon City Police Department, Socorro Police Department, Anthony Police Department, El Paso Office of Emergency Management, Canutillo Independent School District Police Department, Ysleta Independent School District Police Department, and the Socorro Independent School District-Emergency Operations Program.

In attendance from each agency was: EPISD Police Chief Manuel Chavira, EPPD Interim Police Chief Peter Pacillas, El Paso County District Attorney Bill Hicks, FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R. Downey, USAO-WDTX City Chief Jose Luis Gonzalez, El Paso County Attorney-Juvenile Trial Team Chief Emily Dawson, TXDPS Regional Director-West Texas Region Jose Sanchez, EPCSO Commander Ryan Urrutia, El Paso County Constable-Precinct 1 Oscar Ugarte, HCPD Police Chief Marco Vargas, Anthony Police Department Lieutenant Oswaldo Gomez, Socorro Police Department Officer Sophia Rivera, El Paso Community College Police Chief Jose Rameriz, Ysleta Independent School District Security/Police Department Sergeant R. Lozano, and Socorro Independent School District Police Chief George Johnson.

Each stressed the severity of the consequences students face for making hoax threats.