PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – More than half a million Colorado students returned to school Thursday after a “credible threat” forced campuses to shut down. As a result, school districts in Denver and surrounding counties all re-opened with heightened security in place.
Parker is no exception; police are amping up the number of officers on school sites there. One of those officers is Penny McLean. McLean is an almost 20-year veteran of the Parker Police Department.
As part of McLean’s route, she greeted students making their way into Legacy Point Elementary School Thursday morning.
“It’s good to be out in the community and let them know we are here for them,” McLean said with a smile.
Taking the precaution to ensure safety is something that’s personal for her, because she understands what fellow parents are going through.
”I want (my child) to go to school, be a kid, have fun, get some education and not have to worry about the stuff that’s been going on lately. The 20th anniversary of Columbine is on everybody’s mind, in our hearts and just having the extra school security, school patrol out there I think will put everybody at ease,” McLean told CBS4’s Mekialaya White.
The added police protection is also welcome news for many, as this week marks the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.
“We have friends that went to Columbine, one that was there as a freshman. So it’s scary, but it’s good to know that (police) are here and it gives us some reassurance,” Legacy Point parent Sarah Mendenhall said.
School will resume as normal through the week. Mental health professionals are also on hand for anyone who needs their support.