School District 51, Law Enforcement Join Forces For School Safety
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo.- School District 51 officials are keeping the conversation going about safety for students.
District 51 has partnered up with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, the Grand Junction Police Department, Fruita Police Department, Palisade Police Department, Colorado State Patrol and the District Attorney's office to intertwine forces in discussing different ways to ensure students are safe.
One thing school officials are encouraging is for all residents to be vigilant and report anything that looks suspicious.
Officials say there is currently four school resource officers and if the budget permits it, they're looking to place more SRO's into District 51 campuses.
"[We want] the whole community to understand that we really need everybody's help. When parents are on our campuses, we need them aware of their surroundings, and what's going on in schools. Noticing how our kids are behaving, which includes behavior like bullying, but it also includes what's going on, and are there people on campus that you're not familiar with," said Christy McGee, spokesperson for School District 51.
"With the school resource officers, we prevent a lot more crimes and we also solve a lot more crimes that occur. Our officers will get information about crimes that have been committed, or they'll develop their own suspect information based on knowing the kids. They're also a resource for kids when they need somebody to talk to as well," said John Camper, Chief of Police for the Grand Junction Police Department.
School District 51 officials say they're setting a timeline of when and where they can move forward with some of the new discussed plans.
Camper says that the SRO's are hired by the police department and the sheriff's office. He says they are armed, just like a regular officer would be.
Police officials say they hope to have another SRO hired and ready to go by the start of next semester.