Grand Junction Police issue a statement to media about their diligence in keeping our community and schools safe:
"We've been hearing from many of you regarding today's school shooting in Connecticut and what we are doing locally to keep our kids safe. The Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff's Office and School Dist 51 work very closely on a regular basis to develop and implement security procedures and policies, and to make sure that school staff and students get regular training on those policies and procedures. For security reasons, we aren't able to go into detail on what those procedures are, as we don't want to give the bad guys an upper hand. But our community should know that we DO NOT have a "it won't happen here" attitude toward these types of situations.
The responsibility for keep our schools safe rests on all of us- law enforcement, the schools, staff, parents, and students. While we work with the schools to plan and train, parents need to make sure that they are familiar with the school policies and procedures, and that they don't try to skirt around them when they seem inconvenient or when they are in a hurry. For example, when parents are given access through a school door, don't hold it open for the stranger behind you. When you are required to sign in at the office, do so. And most importantly, if a parent sees anyone suspicious or who just doesn't seem to belong there, report it immediately.
None of these plans are 100% perfect, and sometimes really horrible things happen even when we have planned and trained and tried to take every step possible to prevent it. With that said, we are constantly working to improve our plans and stay one step ahead of those who may want to harm our community. That means if parents have concerns about their child's school they should let their school administration know. From there we will work with the school to address those concerns as we continue to do everything in our power to keep our most precious resources safe.
Throughout today, and in the coming days we will continue to have increased visibility in and around our schools. But this is only to reinforce what we already do on a DAILY basis in our community, regardless of what horrible incident is filling the news that day- develop the best plans possible, train and test those plans, and remain on alert for anything that may harm our kids.
- Kate Porras, Police Information Coordinator