COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster wrote a letter today to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) Chief Mark Keel requesting that the agency work with local law enforcement and public school district officials to analyze the response to a string of threatening hoax phone calls made to numerous schools across the state on Wednesday, October 5.
“According to media coverage of the hoax calls, hundreds of law enforcement officers and first responders immediately rushed to the schools, some officers made it to campus and were inside the school buildings within two minutes,” the governor wrote in his letter. “I believe this situation provides our state’s law enforcement agencies with a rare opportunity to learn from this unprecedented incident; to learn what worked best and what can be improved upon.”
The governor continued: “I ask the State Law Enforcement Division to work collaboratively with local officials to review the response to the October 5, 2022, active shooter hoax at our public schools and provide best practices to all the state’s public-school districts and law enforcement agencies. These events require extensive training and preparedness, and I am confident this review will further enhance law enforcement’s ability to combat such criminal attacks.”
Additionally, since 2018 when the governor made it a top priority, the number of public schools in South Carolina with a school resource officer has increased by 140%. In 2018, only 406 schools had a designated school resource officer. This year, 982 of the state’s public schools have a trained law enforcement officer in the school, all day, every day.