Posts tagged threats
Written by Ann Schimke on Mar 5th, 2013. | Copyright © EdNewsColorado.org
School security has been beefed up across the country since the shooting at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School left 20 students and six staff members dead in mid-December. Colorado is no exception.
Some districts are locking front doors, installing video buzzer systems, or implementing tougher rules for school visitors. Other districts are partnering with local law enforcement agencies to conduct staff trainings, emergency drills or building security reviews. In a few, measures such as bullet-proof glass or school marshals, similar to air marshals, are under consideration.
“This struck home with people all across the country and Douglas County was no different,” said Sgt. Kevin Moffitt, supervisor of the School Resource Officer Unit with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. “We had parents crying on the phone, ‘Our children are out there unprotected.’”
The response was similar in the Durango area, said Kathy Morris, the regional safe school coordinator for the San Juan Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
“The questions started coming: ‘What are you doing about safety and security on my child’s campus?’”
With nine districts in her jurisdiction, including one with just 50 students, the answers vary. They include “vulnerability assessments” of school buildings, a review of open campus policies and a look at hiring school resource officers for the six districts that don’t already have them. Also, two elementary schools, both of which are on highways, have installed video buzzer systems at their front doors.
Morris said her districts have also continued efforts to educate students about Safe2Tell, an anonymous statewide system that allows students or parents to report threats of school violence or other dangerous situations.
Reviewing building security
Many school administrators have conducted walk-throughs of their buildings with law enforcement personnel to familiarize them with the facilities and evaluate security weaknesses.
In the Fremont R-2 School District in Florence, officers from three local police departments, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, the Colorado State Patrol and even wildlife officers have toured district schools in recent weeks, receiving packets with aerial photos and maps of the schools and protocols for different types of emergencies.
Ultimately, every potential first responder in the county will have received the same training about school emergencies, said Florence Police Chief Michael DeLaurentis.
“If it ever does happen, we’re ready for it,” he said.
In addition, local police officers have stepped up their presence at Fremont school buildings, stopping by at unscheduled times to chat with staff or eat lunch with students.
A similar effort to increase police presence at schools has been underway in Douglas County since shortly after the Sandy Hook shootings. It came out of a meeting between district administrators and law enforcement personnel the Monday after the shootings, Moffitt said. Participants expressed particular concern about the district’s elementary schools, which don’t have school resource officers like the middle and high schools do.
The district and sheriff’s department quickly launched a program in which six patrol officers monitor 38 elementary schools every day, “walking hallways, giving knuckles to the kids, having lunch with them,” said Moffitt.
In addition, all officers were encouraged to pull into elementary school parking lots to write up reports instead of doing it at their substations or another location.
“The response from the public has been very supportive,” Moffitt said. “It’s brought the officers closer to the community.”
Exploiting the front door
John Nicoletti, an expert on school and workplace violence prevention, said that in most shootings by outsiders unconnected to the school, attackers “come right through the main entrance.”
For this reason, many districts are re-evaluating open-door policies that have long been in place. In addition to locked doors, districts are developing stricter rules for monitoring visitors and asking staff to step up enforcement of existing policies.
In Boulder Valley schools, more front doors have been locked in the last few months and visitors are now more likely to be asked for identification before entering. Twenty-three of the district’s 55 buildings have phone cameras at the front door, requiring visitors to be buzzed in by staff. In some schools, interior doors leading to classroom wings are also locked during the day, with staff unlocking them to admit visitors as needed.
Last week, the Brighton 27J School District finished installing visitor screening systems in 16 district schools, including 2 charter schools. The systems, which were already in place at four schools, require visitors to present identification at the school’s reception desk, undergo a background check of sex offender registries and wear a visitor’s badge that includes a photo.
“We made the decision in January following the Sandy Hook tragedy that we would implement that at all our schools,” said Kevin Denke, the district’s public information officer.
If visitors are flagged by the system, it doesn’t mean they will be prohibited from entering the building, he said. Instead, staff members will be alerted and may take precautions such as escorting visitors to their destination and back.
Keeping a community hub inviting
It’s not easy to lock school doors or tighten visitor rules without compromising the friendly, welcoming atmosphere that many schools seek to foster. That’s the fine line district leaders are walking right now as they update safety procedures or install new security systems.
Morris said there has been some resistance from parents who are not used to the stricter rules about signing in at the front desk and wearing a visitor badge.
“I’ve had some parents say, ‘I don’t have to sign in.’”
They relent once they’ve been briefed about why the procedures are in place, which is both for student safety and to ensure emergency responders know the number and identity of people inside the building in case of an emergency.
“Once the principal talks to the parents, they totally get it,” she said.
In the Brighton district, the biggest concern voiced about the new background check system was whether it would block access by parents who may lack an acceptable photo id because of undocumented status. Denke said the district may address that problem by issuing its own photo id card that affected parents could use in the schools.
Colorado schools ahead of the curve
It can be chilling to hear about active shooter drills or on-the-spot background checks for parent volunteers, but after Sandy Hook, the Aurora theater shooting and the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, few school leaders believe their districts are immune to violence, including mass murder.
“It could happen anywhere,” Morris said. “It could happen here and I do prepare for that.”
Insights like this have produced a focus on violence prevention in many school districts. In fact, experts say Colorado is ahead of other states in terms of school safety.
Columbine changed everything, said Nicoletti. In particular, many school districts got proactive about identifying and handling “insider” threats, or students, parents or other members of a school community whose behavior or communications prompt concern. Insider threats make up about 70 percent of shootings, he said.
Chris Harms, director of the Colorado School Safety Resource Center, said aside from Columbine, a 2006 hostage crisis at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey and a 2010 shooting at Deer Creek Middle School in Littleton have also impacted school safety efforts across the state.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had more than our share in Colorado,” Harms said.
Harms said the renewed focus since Sandy Hook on preparing for school emergencies is “the silver lining to the very bleak tragedy that was.”
“It got people to think about this again.”
TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity is distributing 50,000 free Endangered Species Condoms for holiday and New Year’s Eve celebrations around the country. More than 600 volunteer distributors will hand out the condoms at events in all 50 states. The condoms are part of the Center’s 7 Billion and Counting campaign focusing on the effects of rapid human population growth on rare plants and animals.
“There are more than 3 billion people on the planet under the age of 25. The choices this generation makes will determine whether our planet and its wildlife and natural resource base are burdened with 8 billion or 15 billion people. The difference between these paths can be measured by how many other species are left to roam alongside us,” said Jerry Karnas, population campaign director with the Center. “Our Endangered Species Condoms are a great way to get a conversation started about how the growing human population is affecting the wild world around us, especially animals already teetering on the edge of extinction.”
As part of its full-time population campaign launched in 2009, the Center has given out 450,000 free Endangered Species Condoms, featuring polar bears, panthers and other species threatened by population growth, loss of habitat and consumption of natural resources. This year, the Center is providing condoms to college health centers, nightclub owners, environmental activists, women’s reproductive-health groups and other activists around the United States.
The world’s human population has doubled since 1970, reaching 7 billion in October 2011. According to the latest research, it could exceed 9 billion by 2050. In recent weeks, several federal reports have noted the impact that population is having on the natural world. A recent decision to propose Endangered Species Act protection for 66 coral species said that “the common root or driver of most, possibly all” of the threats that corals face — like climate change and changing ocean conditions — is the world’s growing human population. Another report, by the Department of the Interior, raised serious questions about the ability of the Colorado River to meet demands of a growing population in the western United States.
“The evidence is mounting, and the solutions are at hand if only we’re just willing to start talking about them,” Karnas said. “Universal access to birth control, a rapid transition to clean energy, robust land-acquisition programs and much smarter growth policies can combine to forge a future for wildlife and a high quality of life for people. There’s no better time to start than in the new year of 2013.”
The Center is the only environmental group with a full-time campaign highlighting the connection between unsustainable human population growth and the ongoing extinction crisis for plants and animals around the world. In 2011 the Center released a report on the top 10 U.S. species threatened by population growth.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 450,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
Police officers and students exhibit an apparent “hierarchy of bias” in making a split-second decision whether to shoot suspects who appear to be wielding a gun or, alternatively, a benign object like a cell phone, research conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder and San Diego State University has found.
Both the police and student subjects were most likely to shoot at blacks, then Hispanics, then whites and finally, in a case of what might be called a positive bias, Asians, researchers found.
In the first study of its kind, Joshua Correll, Bernadette Park and Charles M. Judd of CU-Boulder’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and Melody Sadler of San Diego State University examined how police and a group of undergraduate subjects decide whether to shoot or not to shoot “suspects” in a multi-ethnic environment.
“Most studies on the subject of stereotyping and prejudice look at two (ethnic) groups, usually in isolation. It’s always one group against another group,” said Correll, a CU graduate who joined the faculty in August after a stint at the University of Chicago.
“But as the country becomes more ethnically diverse, it’s more and more important to start thinking about how we process racial and ethnic cues in a multicultural environment,” he said.
As with previous studies into the question, data were gathered from subjects playing a “first person shooter” video game, in which figures of varying ethnicity — Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic and African-American — pop up, either “armed” with a weapon or another benign object, such as a cell phone.
Participants — 69 CU-Boulder undergraduates and 254 police officers — had to make quick decisions as to which figures posed a “threat” and shoot them. The police officers were recruited from two-day training seminars in Florida, New Mexico and Washington and represented numerous jurisdictions from 11 states.
The research demonstrates how persistent cultural stereotypes are, Correll said. Even students who displayed little bias when interviewed demonstrated otherwise when faced with a split-second decision.
“I may not believe it personally, but I am exposed to stereotypes constantly through media or social networks … (such as) the idea that young black men are dangerous,” he said. “Those associations can have an influence on my behavior even if I don’t believe them.”
The study found that police were considerably more accurate than students at correctly identifying a genuinely threatening suspect, as opposed to those brandishing a cell phone or wallet, perhaps a reflection of training. But officers were still influenced by the target’s race — an influence that may derive from the officers’ “contacts, attitudes and stereotypes,” Correll said.
For example, police who endorsed more violent stereotypes about Hispanics and those who overestimated the prevalence of violent crime in their districts demonstrated more bias to shoot Hispanic targets. That raises the question of whether police are responding to real-world threats — and whether that means some ethnic groups really are more likely to be armed and dangerous than others.
“That is a very sensitive question, whether or not (police officers’) reactions are based on some kind of truth. Is this police officers responding to reality on the ground? The short answer is, we don’t know,” Correll said. “But this research almost demands that we ask that question.”
The researchers’ recent findings were published in the Journal of Social Issues. The work was funded by a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation.
In 2007, Correll (then at the University of Chicago), Sadler (then at CU-Boulder), Park and Judd collaborated with the Denver Police Department on a widely cited study that found police officers were less influenced than the general public by racial bias and less likely than the general population to make a decision to shoot at African-American suspects wielding a benign object.
School violence can be prevented,
University of Colorado expert says
The tragic school shooting that occurred Feb. 27 at a suburban Cleveland high school is another reminder that communities can and must take action to prevent school violence, according to Delbert Elliott, a nationally renowned authority on school safety and juvenile violence at the University of Colorado Boulder.
“A key prevention strategy is good surveillance and good intelligence,” said Elliott, founding director of the CU-Boulder Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence. “We need to enlist our students, our teachers and our adults in the community to help us and ask them to notify the police or the sheriff if they see something unusual or have heard that something is about to happen.”
In 80 percent of the school shootings examined by the U.S. Secret Service, someone knew the event was going to take place, Elliott said. “Nationally, we know right now of a dozen or more events for which we got a tip and were able to intervene early so the planned event actually never took place, which is, I think, our very, very best security.” Some of these plans were on the same level of violence as the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School, he said.
In Colorado, there’s a toll-free Safe2Tell reporting system for students and others to call in anonymous tips about safety concerns, the result of collaboration between the CU-Boulder center and the Colorado Attorney General’s office. All tips are treated seriously, and when combined with other sources of information, often result in some kind of intervention. Since 2004, Safe2Tell has received almost 10,000 calls.
From 2004 through 2010, follow-up data indicate that 83 percent of all Safe2Tell incidents resulted in a positive intervention or action. These tips resulted in 415 formal investigations, 359 counseling referrals, 298 prevention/intervention plans, 324 potential suicide interventions, 312 school disciplinary actions, 74 arrests and 28 prevented school attacks.
“An equally critical key to security is to create a welcoming environment in which all students feel that they’re respected, that the rules are applied uniformly to all students, and students feel safe,” Elliott said. “When students feel that some children can get away with bad behavior and others can’t, and there’s bullying going on, that’s when kids feel like they have to take a weapon to school to protect themselves.”
After Columbine raised awareness of the need to prepare for school crises, school safety has improved nationally, Elliott said. In Colorado, the Legislature changed the law to allow schools, law enforcement and social services agencies to legally share information and every school in the state is now required to have a bullying prevention plan.
Any parent in the state can now go into their child’s school and ask to see what the bullying prevention plan is for that school and make sure that the school is following through with it, he said.
Every school, even those in rural areas, needs an “all-hazards” approach to crises that works for a variety of threats: fires, natural hazards, terrorist attacks, chemical spills, a shooter in the building or a hostage takeover, Elliott said. But most schools haven’t practiced these plans with a full response by police, SWAT, fire, victims’ services, mental health services and ambulances — all coordinated by a single command post.
As the responses to both Columbine and Sept. 11 showed, such drills are important because they reveal communications and other crucial response issues between agencies, he said. Such practices could be held on weekends without students being present, he noted.
Elliott also is concerned when school officials tell him that school safety is a lower priority for them than academic performance, that there is no space in their curriculum for an anti-bullying program.
“These two things should not be in competition with each other,” he said. “If you’ve got a problem with students feeling unsafe at school, you’re not going to improve academic performance because school safety is a necessary precondition for students to be able to concentrate and even to be willing to come to school.
“We argue that being safe at school and improving academic performance go hand in hand.”
Six percent of schoolchildren reported that they had not come to school on occasion because they were afraid of being threatened or assaulted according to the most recent Centers for Disease Control survey, Elliott said.
“Nevertheless, students are more likely to be a victim of violence away from school than at school by a huge margin,” said Elliott, who was the senior scientific editor of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Youth Violence issued in 2001.
The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence is part of the CU-Boulder Institute of Behavioral Science. For more information about the center visithttp://www.colorado.edu/cspv/.
“David Harrison, who has defended those issued camping tickets, responded to the most recent decision to eliminate jury trials for those issued camping tickets by saying, “What’s next?”
There is an assorted list of fascist policy decisions, laws and ordinances in recent years coming from of our Boulder City Council, that question resonated with me, What’s next?
How about a seminar about violence in the workplace where our City Attorney declares not all the public speakers who go beyond the 2 minute rule are threats?
Now, councilman Karakehian comes up with a novel idea, let’s pledge allegiance to the flag before every council meeting.
Councilwoman KC Becker responds that if people do not want to “pledge” before meetings, “I’d be interested in hearing why.”
Therein lies the problem.
Pledging, “Under God,” or under anything at all, even refusing to stand! like me, those who have been taught to questioning authority? The act is repugnant.
Have you ever been ostracized and harassed?
I refused to pledge allegiance in middle school and high school in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s.
My parents taught me well.
Ironically, my homeroom teachers both taught history and I took a ruler on the knuckles or a slap on the head from time to time, just for not standing up while other recited “The Pledge.”
The purpose of the pledge seems to divides us all into the patriotic vs. the non-patriotic, the believers vs. the non-believers.
How to escape? While many in the Council Chambers stand to recite cobweb loyalties and factitious duties.
Some of us feel that pledging allegiance to the wall is unpatriotic, especially, when those leading the pledge have forgotten to uphold the “with liberty and justice for all” part.
The small “violations” of that pledge itself, camping tickets, curfews… are examples of a reoccurring problem of our Boulder City Council.
We’ve got a long way to go, baby.
Some of us feel we are going backwards.
Must we must support anything, however bad, because we were born or live in a particular place?
What is a pledge or promise of allegiance?
Curiously, such lessons in supposed good citizenship in the form of reciting a pledge of allegiance are rarely, iever, accompanied by deeper introspection.
So, it should be no surprise that reciting “The Pledge” has been proposed by members of the Boulder City Council.
3383 Madison Avenue
Seth Brigham is a sometime contributor to Boulder Channel 1 News
God bless Seth and God bless the United States of America
Boulder police have arrested a suspect in connection with a robbery that occurred at Boulder Gas, located at 2995 28thSt., at approximately 8:03 p.m. last night, Feb. 6, 2012.
Police arrested 44-year-old Mark Charles Culpepper (DOB 3/15/1967). Investigators believe that Culpepper entered Boulder Gas and asked the clerk to give him some money. When the clerk said he couldn’t, the suspect left the store on foot. The suspect did not display a weapon or make any threats.
Around 9:15 p.m., an officer on routine patrol noticed a male fitting the description of the suspect from the Boulder Gas robbery at the Circle K store at 1480 Canyon. The male seemed intoxicated and said he had a medical condition. After he was checked out by paramedics, he was positively identified by the Boulder Gas clerk as being the suspect from the robbery.
Culpepper faces charges of Robbery, Criminal Attempt and Failure to Appear.
Lets Get this thing stopped Boyz, before the winds pick up!!!
|10/29 11:00 Evacuation updates|
|Boulder Community Hospital Mapleton and Maxwell facilities are being evacuated by 11:30 a.m. No patients should come to the either out patient facility. There are no evacuations scheduled at this time for Boulder Community Hospital on N. Broadway.
Boulder Humane Society @ 303-442-4030 and the Boulder County Fairgrounds @ 303-548-6530 have been notified and are preparing for displaced animals.
|10/29 10:45 Health advisory|
|October 29, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chana Goussetis, 303.441.1457, email@example.com
Boulder County Public Health issues health advisory in response to fire
Due to the possibility of rapid weather changes, it is difficult to predict the condition of air quality related to current the fire.
In general, if you can see or smell smoke, it is recommended that you avoid outdoor physical activities. If visibility is decreased in your neighborhood to less than five miles, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.
Children, Elderly, and People with Respiratory Conditions
If you can see or smell smoke, children, elderly, pregnant women, and people with pre-existing respiratory conditions should stay inside with the windows and doors closed. If it is hot outside, run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. If you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter elsewhere.
Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke because their airways are still developing and because they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Children also are more likely to be active outdoors.
Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke, as they have higher levels of heart or lung diseases than younger people.
Follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
When smoke levels are high, even healthy people may experience coughing, a scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, stinging eyes, and a runny nose. If you can see or smell smoke, you should limit outdoor physical activities and stay indoors if at all possible.
Wildfire smoke contains pollutants that can be harmful to health. Particles from smoke tend to be very small and can therefore be inhaled into the deepest recesses of the lung and may represent a greater health concern than larger particles. Even in healthy people, this can cause temporary reductions in lung function and pulmonary inflammation. Particulate matter can also affect the body’s immune system.
Air quality updates are available at http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/advisory.aspx.
Updates on the wildfire are available at www.BoulderOEM.com
To receive this advisory by email or text, follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/bouldercohealth.
|10/29 10:30 City neighborhoods under evacuation orders|
|Residences and businesses within the following City of Boulder area are being asked to evacuate at this time: from Canyon Boulevard on the south to High Street on the north from the fire location on the west to 7th Street on the east. Everbridge notifications are being made. Evacuees are asked to respond to the Coors Event Center at CU.|
|10/29 10:30 A call center has been established for the #boulderfire Dome Fire.|
|A call center has been established for the Dome Fire. Affected residents can call 303-441-7730 for more information. Please do not call 9-1-1 with non-emergencies.|
|10/29 10:14 Air support making drops|
|One plane is|
Today at 11:30 a.m., Boulder Police School Resource Officers responded to Boulder High School, 1604 Arapahoe Ave., on a report of two threats written on bathroom walls. One threat was found in a 3rd floor men’s restroom. The second threat was found in a men’s restroom on the 2nd floor.
The threats appeared to be similar in writing. The threats targeted those who will attend Boulder High School, as well as Latinos, in particular, on Friday, Oct. 29, 2010, and the author stated that he or she would bring a gun to school. School Resource Officers, the department’s Intelligence Officer and school officials are working together to identify the author of the threats. No arrests have been made at this time.
Safety plans have been put in place through the remainder of this week utilizing School Resource Officers, school security and other police officers, as necessary.
Deputy Police Chief Greg Testa said, “We take every threat seriously. Officers are working with school officials to resolve this issue and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to keep our children safe.”
Anyone with information about these threats is asked to call police immediately at 303-441-3333. Tipsters who wish to remain anonymous are encouraged to call either the Colorado Safe2Tell line at 1-877-542-7233 or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
SOURCE: CITY OF BOULDER PRESS RELEASE