Colorado Safe2Tell hotline sees surge in reports as school violence dominates headlines

DENVER — “We are protectors & advocates for our students,” read a tweet sent Saturday from the Jeffco Schools Security department. That message followed a line announcing the district had received a record number of Safe2Tell tips, 164 in just one week.

Jefferson County Schools are not alone. Districts across the state are seeing a rise in the number of Safe2Tell tips as they deal with an extraordinary increase in the number of violent threats in the wake of the Florida shooting. 

But before Parkland, the hotline was quickly on its way to seeing its most active school year after finishing the previous year with a 58 percent increase compared to the 2015-16 school year. 

In January alone, Safe2Tell had 1,321 reports, a 68 percent increase from 2017, ranging from suicide threats to planned school attacks.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said they often see a surge in reports after a mass shooting event.

"Kids became much more alert and attuned to everything that was happening around them, and we tend to see a spike in reporting after there is an incident in another part of the country," Coffman said. 

The Safe2Tell program came about after the Columbine shooting. It allows students, parents, school staff and community members to report safety concerns anonymously.

Colorado is the leader in the country when it comes for a way for bystanders to report things they see," Coffman said. 

Coffman says the program has prevented numerous acts of violence in Colorado schools and saved lives. 

If you think there's suspicious activity around you, make a report using your smartphone by downloading the Safe2Tell Colorado mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play or by calling 1-877-542-7233 to speak to a live, trained dispatcher.

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