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Local Police Dept. Remains Vigilant after Online Threat

2 years 10 months 4 days ago Monday, April 17 2017 Apr 17, 2017 April 17, 2017 9:09 PM April 17, 2017 in News

HARLINGEN – A Rio Grande Valley police department said they continue to monitor social media for threatening posts.

A 22-year-old Harlingen man was arrested for making a threat against an officer last week.

“He displayed a handgun and threatened that the next time he came across an officer he was going to kill them,” Harlingen Police Department Sgt. John Parrish said.

Parrish said the department and individual officers have been singled out in social media threats before.

“It is very serious anytime someone is threatened with death or bodily injury. We definitely look into it,” he said.

The officer said threats are handled depending on the credibility. If a person threatens someone else’s life and police believe they have the ability to do it, they could face some serious jail time.

“You have to look at the totality of the circumstances. Was there a weapon mentioned or are weapons involved? Whether this person had a criminal background or something? Made threats before in the past? You just have to look at everything together,” he said.

If the threat meets some of those requirements, Parrish said it can be labeled a terroristic threat.

Threats on social media area against the law in Texas and can land you a fine of up to $500. A conviction can land someone in prison for up to 10 years.

Before an arrest can be made on a threat, Parish said they must present the case before a judge for its approval.   

If you see someone make a threat on social media you are urged to contact your local police department. Most social media sites also allow you to report posts.

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