We learned quite a bit of troubling news regarding school safety at the Board Meeting on Thursday night.
- There has been a 100% increase in threats over the last year
- The department has been put in a reactive mode rather than proactive due to increasing needs and funding not increasing
- 700 students reported friends in crisis via Safe2Tell last year
- 44,091 calls to Jeffco Security were responded to last year
- SROs (School Resource Officers) are a gift from law enforcement agencies totalling approximately $5 million per year
- Martenson is used as a training facility to keep children safer with even Federal agencies utilizing the facility
- This bothersome quote – “We are Jeffco; we know there will be another tragedy”
- The security department is currently stretched beyond their maximum capacity
- We need more wraparound services such as mental health
- Senate Bill 213 changes impact the budget but included no additional funding
It was abundantly clear that this department is understaffed and underfunded. Board Member Jill Fellman had it right when she thanked Mr. McDonald and staff for their dedication and taking care of our most precious resources, our children! Jeffco Security is known across the nation as the “Gold Standard!”
As Executive Director of Safety, Security and Emergency Planning, John McDonald stated, “a child who feels safe in school is a better educated child.”
Let’s hope that the entire Board of Education realized the impacts to our children and votes to start funding school safety immediately. Please keep advocating, Jeffco! Write a letter to the board today!