Community brainstorms solutions on preventing school tragedies - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Community brainstorms solutions on preventing school tragedies

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Southern Colorado law enforcement agencies, school districts and mental health professionals joined together on Monday night to address school threats as part of our News 5 town hall.

It was an opportunity for everyone in our community to hear how school threats are handled, addressing some of the parent concerns brought forward and how local school systems say they can move forward.

"We must actively seek solutions, we must actively seek common ground," Dr. Venkat Reddy, UCCS Chancellor said.

UCCS sponsoring our News 5 town hall only a month after a former student opened fire in a Florida high school, killing 17 people.

Our local community now coming forward as we search for solutions together.

"Ask yourself, are safety and security your number one priorities?" a former District 11 school board member asked the panel.

Since the Florida shooting, Colorado Springs police have spent around 300 hours investigating school threats and Pueblo police, 90 hours.

"I want you all to understand that every threat that comes in, in the smallest and slightest mention to the most serious is investigated at onset," Sgt. Lisa Cintron, the supervisor of CSPD School Resource Officers said.

Law enforcement says credibility is usually determined after they find the source of the threat. But know, it isn't always found overnight.

"That's what we strive for is to find the origin of the threat to be able to tell whether it's credible or not," Sgt. William Ewell of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said.

Woodland Park School District RE-2 speaking out less than two weeks after having to shut down their schools for two days because of a credible threat written on a bathroom wall.

"I just encourage parents to talk to the school, talk to the police department, Safe2Tell if there are any tips, social media, it's good and bad, it works with us, it works against us in so many ways," Stacy Schubloom a spokesperson for the district said.

Social media, a top concern.

"Often times, at least in law enforcement side of the house, that that turns into be a huge piece of the evidentiary side of what we need to bring justice in a case," Deputy Fountain Police Chief Tommy Coates said.

Budget issues also brought forward tonight.

"We always want to make sure we have learning environments where kids can learn, we want to make sure those learning environments are safe and with a limited budget, where do you draw the line?" Allison Cortez, a spokesperson for Academy School District 20 said.

To see the full News 5 town hall, click here.

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