MEDFORD, Ore. — “These violent acts shock the entire nation and they happen in towns that are very similar to our town, so we always have to take them very seriously,” said Lt. Mike Budreau, Medford Police Department.
Whether you’re using a computer, phone, or tablet, everyone leaves behind a digital trail. It’s something Lt. Budreau says has become an essential tool for law enforcement agencies.
“If somebody is saying something bad or they have bad intent or bad feelings or somebody is starting to unravel… hopefully there will be signs of that and we can intervene more quickly,” he said.
On Wednesday night, police went to the south Medford Walmart after a post on Craigslist said “I’ll be there at 7. Come see the show.”
Although Lt. Budreau says the post may not have had any sinister intent, the agency still had officers on-scene to ensure the public’s safety.
“We always have to be on the safe side,” he said. “And it’s better to be on the safe side than to be sorry later, so we’re always going to take situations like that seriously.”
The same day, down in Siskiyou County, a 22-year-old McCloud man was taken into custody for sending what police are calling an incendiary Snapchat message.
“[It] supported recent mass shootings. It used some profanities, supported the shooters.”
Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey says recent shootings in Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy has his agency being extra vigilant.
At this week’s Siskiyou Golden Fair, they have extra people, bag screenings, and metal detectors.
“Such a tragedy could occur anywhere,” he said. “And we have to be ready for it and we have to be proactive.”
However, both the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office and Medford Police agree, they can only do so much.
Law enforcement needs the public’s help.
“We were able to get this individual into protective custody and we’ll be able to get him the help he needs and that was the result of a report we received,” Sheriff Lopey said.
Not every tip will lead to an arrest, but police say it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“Some people could have seen that message thinking it was innocent cause it wasn’t that threatening or threatening enough,” said Lt. Budreau. “But there are enough people that said no, this doesn’t sound right, we better alert authorities. And we had the opportunity to intervene on that.”
Medford Police say they are no longer investigating the Craigslist post because it was posted on a “missed connections” part of the website and it was not specific enough of a threat.
As a reminder, law enforcement agencies say if you see something, say something.
Amanda Rose is a multimedia journalist for NBC5 News. Amanda graduated from Columbia University earning a Master’s degree in Journalism. She also received a Bachelor’s degree in English with a specialization in literature from the University of British Columbia. She’s a Los Angeles native, but is thrilled to return to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and is passionate about reporting on the criminal justice system.