DENVER (CBS4) – Strobe lights and speakers will soon deck Denver Public Schools.
School safety is on the minds of all of us as we have suffered the nation’s latest school shooting this month in Highlands Ranch. Our largest public school system in Colorado, Denver Public Schools, is working on new security additions to ensure students are safe and parents are aware.
This past year the school system implemented surprise active shooter drills at schools and Chief Michael Eaton with the DPS security force tells CBS4’s Britt Moreno “training is key. We have to make sure to ensure that schools are well trained and prepared for a tragic situation like we saw with Highlands Ranch.”
He says the school received a $6 million grant last summer and an additional $3 million this year which will go to even more security measures.
It will take a year, but Eaton says every school in DPS will have outdoor speakers which will help teachers better communicate with students. There will be blue strobe lights “so parents can see if students are not available because of a school lockdown or lockout.”
He says schools are also adding door contact alarms on all exterior doors of our schools, “so we can harden our perimeter.” When a door is propped open, teachers will now be notified.
“We are seeing a lot of situations occur when students are at recess or lunch, so we need to be able to communicate with those students on the exterior of our buildings to make sure they take precaution,” Eaton said.
Safe2Tell reports are coming in more than ever before because of the current climate in which children find themselves. Eaten tells Moreno bullying is happening on social media and kids are being traumatized upon reports of school shootings. He says suicide rates are higher and more kids are relaying concerns.