Lieutenant Joe Messerich, (563) 589-4473
Assistant Chief Jeremy Jensen, (563) 589-4444
Feb. 23, 2018
The Dubuque Police Department investigated several cases this week involving area youth. These cases have generated a high volume of social media traffic and there is a great deal of incorrect information circulating through the community. We would like to explain some of these investigations to hopefully ease some of the concerns.
First and foremost, we would like to thank the citizens of Dubuque for reporting their concerns to the Police Department and school officials. We ask that if “you see something, say something” and, in this case, you did.
Earlier this week, the Dubuque Police Department and the Dubuque Community School District were made aware of threats of violence to Senior High School. The Police Department and school officials investigated these threats and charges were filed for Harassment. Steps were taken by the Police Department and school staff to make sure Senior High School was safe. The students involved have not returned to school and their families have been cooperating with school staff and Police.
Late last night, a threat was shared with Dubuque Community Schools staff. This led to significant social media traffic and eventually led to the cancellation classes at Dubuque schools today. Ultimately, it was determined that the threats made were related to the initial threats, despite the fact that they had already been investigated and safeguards were put in place. Officers are monitoring social media and are working with school staff to quickly investigate leads as they come in but, thus far, no new information has been uncovered and no specific or credible threat to Dubuque area schools exist.
We realize incidents like this are a concern beyond the schools, and neighboring businesses, colleges/universities, and even private residents may have concerns about their safety. The Dubuque Police Department takes these threats very seriously, but also does not wish to cause undue fear in the community by announcing all threats or rumored threats, especially those that have already been addressed. We ask that the community trust us on the release of information. If there is ever a situation of an immediate threat, we will do everything possible to protect the community.
The Dubuque Police Department investigated a separate incident on Wednesday February 21, involving a juvenile female who assaulted another juvenile female in the area of W. 5th and Delhi streets. The suspect in that case was identified and located by officers on Wednesday night and was transported to juvenile detention on Thursday, February 22, after being charged with Willful Injury. A video of this assault has circulated through social media and has also resulted in some public confusion. This case was not related to the threats at Senior High School and it did not occur on school property or during school hours.
The Dubuque Police Department asks that if anyone has information on any threats to area schools to please contact the department and speak with an officer.
If you have any information on this incident or others, please call the Dubuque Police Department at 563-589-4415 or Crime Stoppers at 800-747-0117 or 563-588-0714 (if the information leads to an arrest, the caller is eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000). You can also submit tips anonymously online at www.cityofdubuque.org/police or through the MyDBQ smartphone app available at www.cityofdubuque.org/MyDBQ.
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