By Rick Sallinger
DENVER (CBS4)– Reverberations from the Florida school shooting are being felt in Colorado. There is increased police presence at some schools as parents and students are being reminded of a tipline established as a way to prevent such violence.
The program is called Safe2tell.
The origins of it go back to 1999. The same year as the Columbine massacre. It was started out in one city then grew.
The concept, a place to call with confidential information from kids who know best what is happening in the schools.
John McDonald, the head of security for Jefferson County Public Schools, says the tip line been extremely valuable.
“Students can report to us without fear of reprisal from being labeled a snitch,” said McDonald.
The program is run through the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. Calls go to the Colorado State Patrol. The information is then forwarded to the district involved.
At the Denver Public Schools security dispatch center, they can see right inside most every school.
If necessary, the dispatch center can conduct an immediate lockdown which sends an audio message throughout the affected location.
“Attention students and staff we are conducting a test of the lockdown in the northeast terminal.”
From here a click will “button down” the school in question.
Dispatch Supervisor Shenikwa Novachich told CBS4, “Once we have the situation contained we can but we still need to keep our students and staff inside the building we can move from a lock down to a lock out.”
What happened in Florida they hope won’t happen again here.
Mike Eaton, the chief of security for Denver Public Schools told reporters, “While this is tragic and creates panic and fear in some families we want to remind them schools are the safest place for their kids.”
Safe2Tell is meant to keep it that way. The tip line number is 1-877-542-SAFE (7233). The website is safe2tell.org.