SaferOhio Tip Line Part of DeWine's Plan To Reduce School Gun Violence
Gov. Mike DeWine’s 17-point plan to address gun violence includes expanding a statewide school tip line that’s been around for years.
Approximately half the educational buildings across the state, or about 2,700 school buildings, are currently registered to use the SaferOhio tip line. The governor’s office plans to heavily promote the hotline to attract even more schools to join in the wake of the Aug. 4 mass shooting in Dayton.
Started in 2013, the 1-800-number allows students and adults to anonymously call or text Ohio’s Homeland Security Department about potential threats.
Analysts then categorize the threat level, explained program manager Emily Mayfield.
“We filter them based on what category they fall into, whether that's mental health, a threat to life, a faculty or staff issue,” said Mayfield. “Some of them are immediately sent to dispatch. Some of them are sent to the school officials the next day.”
Mayfield could not say how many calls the hotline has received because the overall number isn’t tracked. But she hopes that will change with the tip line being a part of Gov. DeWine’s plan.
“The governor, in the main operating budget, had allocated $300,000 per year for promotion of the SaferOhio tip line, as well as proactive social media monitoring and threat analysis tools,” Mayfiled said. “It's something that I think he feels very strongly about. I think this was just a good opportunity to share that as a resource for schools and students and communities across the state.”
The SaferOhio tip line is 844-SaferOH (844-723-3764).