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School Safety Your kids are your first priority. Ours, too.

Kids today face pressures we could never imagine a few years ago. Cyber bulling, sexting, and school violence. No wonder kids and parents want to know what the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is doing to help keep students safe.

Rest assured, we’re on it.

Working in collaboration with the school district and our law enforcement partners, our officers patrol schools every day. Our School Resource Officers are a welcome presence with parents, school administrators, and the kids themselves; it lets them know we’re on their side. They strive to promote a positive school climate and culture and be a trusted adult that students can confide in. Our SROs are trained to employ best practices through the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). We subscribe to the triad role for the school resource officer as informal counselors (mentors), teachers (guest speakers) presenting student safety curriculum, and of course, protectors of the most valuable resource in our community, our children. Our SROs are veteran officers highly trained in de-escalation, dealing with special needs students, and active threat response. Many on our team have children in the Douglas County School District, coach extracurricular sports, and all are committed to being a resource for the students and devoted to school safety. The collaboration with DCSD is paramount and SROs work closely with the school staff and administration to determine what is the best outcome for the student when handling delinquency. SROs are offered discretion to work in the best interest of the student with the goal of every student succeeding in the classroom environment.

DCSO uses Safe2Tell for anonymous reporting concerning unsafe, potentially harmful, dangerous, violent, or criminal activities in schools or the threat of those activities. It has procedures to ensure that the identity of the reporting parties remains unknown to all persons and entities, including law enforcement officers and employees operating the program. Safe2Tell is a program run by the Colorado Department of Law and partners with the Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) in the Colorado Department of Public Safety to answer and disseminate reports. Analysts engage reporting parties in a two-way dialog to maximize the information available for follow-up. They directly connect or refer to the appropriate mental health partners as needed. Safe2Tell analysts review every report and promptly forward it to local multidisciplinary teams. Multidisciplinary teams are comprised of local school and law enforcement personnel. Safe2Tell encourages a prompt response from multidisciplinary teams to all reports in the same fashion as if they received the information in person.  Students can send tips via the Safe2Tell app, the website, or call 877-542-7233. For more information about Safe2Tell please visit https://safe2tell.org/.  Please encourage students to use the program responsibly sending tips that relate to the safety of students and schools.

Our SROs work in conjunction with school staff and administration when investigating threats using state approved threat assessment guidelines. Information sharing is key to protecting all students and preventing plans for school violence. Many resources are brought to bear including mental health professionals, Youth Crisis Intervention Teams, Phycological Safety Coordinator, Juvenile Detectives, Digital Threat Assessment Teams, and other multidisciplinary teams.

DCSO uses evidence based prevention curriculum dealing with teen relationships, digital safety, substance use/abuse and suicide prevention through Y.E.S.S.including our Parent Academy Resources.

Our agency also subscribes to the Handle with Care model of reporting Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to schools. This program allows law enforcement to notify a student’s school that something potentially traumatic has occurred to the student outside of school hours. No specific information is shared with the school to protect the confidentiality and privacy of the student and their family. The student may arrive at school the next day physically and emotionally exhausted, and potentially exhibiting disruptive behaviors resulting from the trauma that they experienced the previous night. They may complain of physical ailments, experience emotional meltdowns, or act out towards their peers. In short, they are in no shape to effectively engage in classroom learning, and neither teachers nor school staff know why. Handle with Care allows the school to then implement a trauma-informed response to mitigate the negative effects experienced by children’s exposure to trauma, and to increase knowledge and awareness of trauma for the educators. Resources can then be offered in school promoting a safe learning environment and fostering our educators as trusted adults.

We’ll listen and be there every day because your kids are our priority.