False call brings large police response to a school in Wausau
As Wausau first responders cleared the scene of what was deemed a "swatting" at Wausau East High School, it came on the six-year anniversary of Everest Metro Police Detective Jason Weiland's death in a mass shooting.
"We keep that in the back of our minds, all of us that were working that day," said Lt. John Phillips with the Wausau Police Department.
Everest Metro Police honored Weiland and the other victims from March 22, 2017 with a post Wednesday morning.
Phillips says the threat of danger in a community stays top priority, despite what happened in the past.
"We recognize that when we get these types of calls, we have to take them seriously. We can't say, 'That's not going to happen here in Wausau,' we recognize that it can happen here and we do have to be prepared for that," he said.
In this particular instance, due to the severity of the supposed threat, a department-wide response was necessary.
"Until we can verify that there is indeed no threat, we want to have the resources there to respond appropriately, so we did have everybody that was working responded to that location, we had the fire department as well," Phillips said.
Wausau East principal Deborah Foster could not comment on the situation on camera, but tells News 9 the students and staff that were in the building at the time handled the situation calmly, just as they had trained for.
The Wausau Police Department is investigating who made the initial call, as it originated from outside the country. Swatting is considered a felony in Wisconsin, punishable by up to three and a half years in prison.