The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Monday that the agency saw a 70 percent spike in calls to its tip hotline in the week following mass murders in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
What are the details?
According to Reuters, the FBI's National Threat Operations Center typically receives around 22,000 tips each week between phone calls and online messages. But in the week following high-profile shootings in El Paso on Aug. 3 and Dayton on Aug. 4 — that left 31 people dead — the agency received more than 38,000 tips.
"Such increases are often observed after major incidents," officials said in a statement. "As always, the FBI encourages the public to remain vigilant and report any and all suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately."
CNN reported that dozens of suspects have been arrested this month for making threats, after FBI Director Chris Wray called for field offices to step up threat assessment efforts following a string of massacres. Earlier this month, the FBI issued a statement saying, "The FBI asks the American public to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online."
In recent weeks, authorities nationwide have acted on several suspected threats, including a disgruntled chef who allegedly planned to kill his co-workers in California, a mother who threatened via Facebook messenger that she was "thinking of doing a school shooting" in Florida, and an Arizona man was arrested for allegedly threatening to blow up a U.S. Army recruitment center.
Orange County, Florida, Sheriff John Mina says private citizens have become more willing to alert law enforcement in the face of perceived criminal activity. Mina told Reuters, "The general public are definitely taking these more seriously."
The sheriff added that local law enforcement agencies have been increasingly dedicating more attention to online threats. "Law enforcement has always acted upon it," he said. "The difference is now we are being a little more vocal about it. Agencies are pushing the message out. It's not a joke. We are going to arrest you."