LCSO expanding School Threat Enforcement Team, focusing on school safety

Reporter: Claire Galt Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference on Wednesday to announce an expansion of its School Threat Enforcement Team.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno announced that the threat team has grown to include one captain, two sergeants, four detectives, and two analysts focusing on school safety.

The sheriff also said a licensed social worker and three mental health professionals to the threat enforcement team.

Marceno says the School Threat Enforcement Team, or STET, monitors social media to find and evaluate threats. He said this school year, STET has conducted 229 threat assessments, investigated 31 threats of violence, and conducted 767 follow-up investigations that have led to 40 arrests.

On November 16, 2022, a 14-year-old girl was arrested for saying she’d blow up Ida Baker High School.

On December 6, 2022, 19-year-old Madison Trumpy was arrested for writing on the bathroom stall that she had a gun in her book bag and threatened to kill everyone at Cape Coral High School.


On February 8, 2023, a 7th-grade student was arrested for a threat against Mid Cape Global Academy.

“No one slips through the cracks,” said Marceno.

Sheriff Marceno says his deputies have arrested 40 kids this school year and fears there will be more. “In 2021, in response to the increased demands for school safety, I created the School Threat Enforcement Team, better known as the STET team”

On Wednesday, the sheriff announced he’s adding more people to the team.

“The best way to stay focused on learning is to eliminate the disruption caused by a threat of violence to another student or to an entire school,” said Lee County schools Superintendent Dr. Christopher Bernier.

Bernier hopes the sheriff’s move will send a signal to students that the district and LCSO take every threat seriously.

“By making threats even as a joke, students risk serious school and possible criminal discipline that can impact their education. And unfortunately, maybe the rest of their lives. Students, be smart. Think before you say something or post something,” said Bernier.

The sheriff challenged parents to step up and get more involved with their kids. Talk to them and maybe stop a threat before a child makes one. LCSO said that once there’s a threat, there are real consequences, starting with an arrest.

Social media platforms where kids can chat with their friends and strangers, for some kids and their parents, are a recipe for disaster.

“Snapchat, for instance, scares the bejesus out of me,” said Andrea Berg.

They are concerned because a joke or a threat can have consequences that last a lifetime.

“We monitor, we follow up. We leave no stone unturned,” said Marceno.

Marceno said he formed his threat team to search social media and to work to identify threats against Lee County schools, but the sheriff said the real work begins at home.

“Are you having these difficult talks with your children? Are you aware of what they are posting on social media? Are you? Yes, you, as parents looking into your kid’s bookbags every morning and night. Ask yourself, have we talked about the seriousness of making threats? And how that can affect their future?” said Marceno.

“I’ve spoken to him about it. And he knows that he needs to say something immediately,” said Berg.

Berg’s son is in 6th grade at the Sanibel School. She said the thought of a threat at her son’s school is what keeps her up at night.

“Terrifying, terrifying knowing that you have a child, who’s your heart and soul, and you’re sending them to where is considered a safe environment. It should be, and to think that there possibly could be a threat is it doesn’t make sense because it’s just not it’s not normal,” Berg said.

You can watch the press conference by clicking here.

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