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Police: ‘Still evaluating’ possible threats at DHS High School amid reports of a student with a knife and gang activity on campus

Police in Desert Hot Springs are investigating the possibility of additional threats on the campus of Desert Hot Springs High School, just a day after they were called there for reports of a student with a knife.

That incident did not result in any reported injuries, but News Channel 3 has been contacted by many concerned viewers who are part of the Desert Hot Springs school community.

A city spokesperson told News Channel 3 in a statement that in addition to videos of the knife incident, investigators have made other concerning discoveries on social media, specifically "chatter reference the possibility of additional threats on campus."

"The Desert Hot Springs Police Department is investigating this incident, including all the factors and elements leading up to it." the statement read. "Officers are still evaluating whether credible threats remain."

Police are also addressing gang activity that is occurring on campus. Desert Hot Springs Police Chief Jim Henson says having a School Resource Officer on campus is valuable.

"Chief Henson continues to stress the importance of having a School Resource Officer on campus so incidents like yesterday’s are able to be abated by early intervention and collaboration between the School Resource Officer and School District Staff."

Doria Wilms, Deputy City Manager

"Ensuring the safety of our youth is our upmost priority. Parents and students are encouraged to report incidents of gang activity or threats of violence to the Police Department immediately," said Doria Wilms, Deputy City Manager, in a statement.

In August, Palm Springs Unified School Department approved negotiations of law enforcement agreements to bring back school resource officers. This came just weeks after a decision to pull full-time police officers from their posts as the school year started. District leaders said at the time, the officers have only been put on hold while they're working on new ways of protecting and supporting students – in partnership with law enforcement.

In August, Superintendent Swize said there is no increase in risk during the lapse as negotiations continued over the officers' roles and contracts. "Our students in Palm Springs are safe," he said. In our August report, district officials said there are more than 45 campus security officers – unarmed patrols – protecting schools in the interim.

News Channel 3 reached out to a Palm Springs Unified School Department spokesperson for comment.

"Details of any campus incident are confidential."

Joan L. Boiko, Coordinator of Communications & Community Outreach

"The safety of our students and staff is our top priority," wrote PSUSD spokesperson Joan Boiko in response to the inquiry. "District and school administrators and security staff are cooperating with law enforcement officials as they conduct their follow-up investigations. Extra security and police presence are in force as an added precaution."

Boiko tells News Channel 3 that parents were notified of the incident and that no one was hurt.

"Regarding SRO contracts, we are continuing through the final formal contract approval stages and are pleased to have reached tentative agreements with the various agencies," Boiko said. "We are confident that agreements will be presented to each city council and the Board of Education within the next few weeks."

MORE: PSUSD approves negotiations to bring back school resource officers

KESQ News Team

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