Former Naperville Police Detective Richard Wystocki says his training program prevented a possible school shooting.
“Let me tell you one thing. We can stop school shootings. We can,” Wistotzki said to a room full of suburban police officers.
Mr. Wystocki teaches fellow police officers in a two-day course called Identifying and Intercepting School Violence with Cyber Investigations. One of his key lessons is how to anonymously track people who blackmail your school.
Mr. Wistocki has spent more than 28 years in law enforcement with the Naperville Police Department, working as a SWAT sniper and as a juvenile investigator in the Cybercrime Division to take down online child offenders.
“Within hours, I was able to identify who the bad guys were. Told.
“I have them report, I’m counting, and this year alone we’ve reached 40,” Wistocki said. “As of Friday, we’ve made our 40th save. The 40th threat of someone shooting the school.”
Officer Jeremy Flood of the Ordinary Police Department has taken this course several times. He works as a school resource officer in County Down, Illinois, and said he thwarted three separate anonymous threats made at Normal Community High School this year.
“The suspect ended up being a juvenile, but I can say that I was pretty shocked by the fact that we were able to quickly identify who did it,” Flood said. So, using Detective Wystocki’s tools, I was able to identify the suspect in about two hours each time. “
Wistocki’s course teaches police officers how to quickly request information from social media companies and internet providers to track down those who are making threats to schools.
“Almost every school shooter posted on message boards, told the kids they went to school with, and posted it on their YouTube channel,” Wistockki added.
An NBC 5 investigative team examined the data. A 2021 Secret Service report found that “individuals who commit violence often exhibit observable behavior.” The agency’s National Threat Assessment Center investigated 67 disruptive plans for schools between 2006 and 2018.
In 94 percent of cases, conspirators shared their intent for the attack either verbally, electronically, or online. In 75% of cases, conspiracies were detected solely due to what was communicated.
Lockport Police Chief Rich Harran said, “We have had cases where we had to investigate because someone mentioned a firearm or something like that.”
Harran Police Chief has school personnel trained in Wystockki to prevent school shootings.
But police also said it was up to students, parents, teachers and staff to say something as soon as they learned of a potential threat.
“I can’t say enough how important it is to notify law enforcement whenever something is suspected or said to be wrong,” Harran added.