The Cerritos Sheriff's Station increased patrols in and around Cerritos High School this week after a note apparently written by a student inferred that there might be a shooting on the campus -- though authorities have determined it is not a credible threat.
The presence of sheriff's deputies has noticeably risen around the school located at 12500 183rd St. since the station was alerted of the note on Tuesday.
Written on a torn piece of paper and left on a teacher's desk, the note was vague, stating only that there might be a shooting at the school this week, according to sheriff's Sgt. Joe Fleischmann. There was also a happy face drawn at the end of the note.
Deputies were immediately sent out to the campus Tuesday to investigate.
"We don't see any credibility to it and have not linked it to anything or anyone," the sergeant said. "But we are erring on the side of safety and caution for the staff, students, parents and the community, so there has been a large sheriff's presence at the school all week long."
Deputies have been spotted on the campus located directly across from the sheriff's station at the beginning of school, after school and on and off throughout the day.
The increased patrols have not gone unnoticed by the students and parents.
"Someone threatened to shoot down Cerritos high school!!! Cops everywhere around the school like 8 cops waiting," one student tweeted on Wednesday morning.
Note Not Linked to Any Student Though Investigation Continues
While the note has not been linked to any student in particular, the sergeant said detectives were working on finding out who was responsible for it.
Rumors of its origin have spread prompting some to infer that the person responsible was a CHS student who was arrested a few weeks ago. Though unable to provide details of the student's arrest because the case remained under investigation, Fleischmann said that the student has since been suspended, and is not at all tied to the note nor perceived to be a threat.
Cerritos Station: The Campus is Safe
With the increased sheriff's presence, the Cerritos Station has been receiving calls from concerned parents all week and officials stress while they will continue to monitor the school closely, the campus is safe.
"We want to reassure parents that the school is safe and we will continue to make efforts to keep it that way," he added.
"In today's day and age, and with the school shootings that have taken place in other parts of the country, we don't take anything lightly," the sergeant said. "We fully investigate any threat -- even if it's vague or minor -- and we always err on side of safety every time."
Cerritos Station and ABCUSD Fully Prepared for Critical School Incidents
After the Newtown school shooting in December, schools throughout the ABC Unified School District immediately began practicing lockdown drills in an effort to prepare district staff, teachers, students and first responders in the event of a critical school incident.
The drill simulation practice was taken a step further on April 2, when the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station and the Los Angeles County Fire Department held an active shooter response drill at Gahr High School. Teachers, students and parents along with members of the Cerritos Station Clergy Council and Cerritos Station volunteers also took part in the drill which .
The Cerritos Sheriff's Station has also devised and continues to improve an in-depth school tactical response plan for each of the 24 schools in Cerritos, including preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, ABCUSD offices, and Cerritos College. The plans are not only tailored for a response to school shootings, but also in preparation for any major natural disaster, incident or emergency situation that would require an immediate response from local police and fire personnel.