The sidewalk talk initiative resulted in sidewalk potential threat, as ACUPD received a call about a suspicious box in front of Moody.
In the 13 years that Chief Jimmy Ellison has been a part of ACUPD, he has never heard of any bomb threats on or around the ACU campus.
“The positive thing here is that people are observant and report suspicious activity,” Ellison said.
A staff member mistook the small chalk box set out for student use by the benches in front of Moody for a small bomb, resulting in police officers investigating the suspicious box, which they found to be merely a chalk box.
Ellison mentioned that while ACUPD has had a few suspicious devices reported, they have all resulted to be completely harmless. He also said that the bulk of these calls were soon after the attacks of 9/11, when people were on a more high-alert.
Lieutenant Randy Motz added that while reporting suspicious activity is a good thing, making a false report about a bomb threat is a very serious matter and can result in a Class A misdemeanor.
Class A misdemeanor is the most serious, non-felony offense which can result in the defendant paying up to a $4,000 fine and spending up to a year in jail.
The Texas Penal Code Section 42.06 states, “an offense under False Alarm or Report is a Class A misdemeanor unless the false report is of an emergency involving a public primary or secondary school, public communications, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service, in which even the offense is a state jail felony.”
Chief Ellison said that a simple solution to avoid this in the future would be to make the chalk box less suspicious looking or placing it in a less suspicious manner.
“We definitely don’t want to be accused of chalk harassment, but we’re glad that that’s all it comes down to,” said Ellison. “So, thankfully, the score lies at 1-0, chalk to bombs.”