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Jeffco Security: Behind the Scenes

Jeffco Security: Behind the Scenes
Posted on 02/21/2018

Tragic incidents are taking place in our world at a seemingly increased rate; we know it is alarming and puts people everywhere on edge when school violence occurs. To maintain the safety and security of our students, staff, facilities, and certain confidential partnerships and processes, we cannot share all the details of our security procedures. However, here are some specifics we can tell you about.

We are a very large school district. We have 157 schools spanning 750 square miles. Although we have standard policies and procedures in place, they do vary by school depending on the situation and the building. Because our schools were built in an era where the threat of school violence was not a consideration, we face many challenges with building design. We strive to mitigate these challenges with robust training, technology, and thorough and well-developed protocols and plans. Our principals, facility managers, security and emergency management team, and first responders work together throughout the year to identify risks and put measures in place to reduce these risks. Our buildings are equipped with secure entrances, access control systems, intruder alarms, and video surveillance.

Our security measures include annual "lockdown/active attacker" student and staff training and practice, monthly school drills, and extensive security staff training. In addition, each school has a threat assessment team that receives training annually. The district security and emergency management department includes the office of threat management, which is responsible for all district threat assessments. That team works with the District Attorney’s office, Jeffco Mental Health, local and county law enforcement, school staff, and other district personnel.

Our program also includes a crisis mental health team that responds to students in crisis, and the most robust Safe2Tell program in the state - a program that ensures every tip received is reviewed by the school principal, district security, and local law enforcement. Jeffco security has a 24/7/365 emergency dispatch center that monitors life safety alarms, video surveillance, and two-way radio traffic from all Jeffco schools. The department includes an armed security patrol division, with members trained as first responders working around the clock, as well as the campus supervisor program with members in all Jeffco high schools.

One of our greatest safety supports in Jeffco Public Schools is the robust school resource officer (SRO) program. SROs from seven law enforcement agencies in Jefferson County provide an increased level of safety for all of our schools. These officers and deputies are trained to work with kids, respond to any threat, offer guidance on student behaviors and juvenile law, and mentor students. We are truly grateful for this ongoing support.

We can promise you that safety is a high priority at Jeffco Public Schools, and it always will be. Because we hold ourselves to the highest safety standards, we review our safety and security protocols constantly and implement new training and protocols based on the incidents you hear about on the news. Jeffco Public Schools has a reputation for utilizing best practices in school safety and security, and we are frequently called upon by school districts across the country to consult on these matters.

You can find an overview of emergency situations that can occur in schools and related protocols here. If you are interested in school-specific information, reach out to your school directly.

The best way families and community members can support our school district is to be aware of our protocols, keep your contact information current in JeffcoConnect, talk with your student about safety and reporting, and encourage others to do the same.

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