Two hours.

That’s how much time elapsed between the phone call that alerted the Baker County Dispatch Center to a possible threat of a shooting at Baker High School, and the Baker City Police Department’s arrest of the 16-year-old boy, a BHS student, who allegedly made that threat during a phone call to a national suicide hotline.

That two-hour span, by the way, was, quite literally, in the middle of the night. The call to the Dispatch Center was at 11:39 p.m. Sunday. Police arrested the teenager at 1:39 a.m. Monday. He was driven to a juvenile detention center at The Dalles.

It’s difficult to imagine a scenario that would better illustrate both how seriously the police department treats such threats, and how capable it is of responding to them.

This is reassuring.

It’s not clear whether the teenager was serious about carrying out his threat to shoot people at the school and to take his own life, or whether he had the ability to do either.

But the police, by arresting the boy more than six hours before classes started Monday morning, ensured he would not have a chance.

Baker School District Superintendent Mark Witty, in addition to thanking police for their rapid response, also noted that school officials work with New Directions Northwest to help students deal with mental health issues.

Ideally the student will get that help.

It’s encouraging that he did call a suicide hotline.

— Jayson Jacoby, Baker City Herald editor

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