Providing Support at a Moment's Notice
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Keeping our Greatest Resource Safe and Sound
The Safety and Security Department's mission is to protect the educational environment in Douglas County Schools.
We operate under three major areas of service: Student, Staff and Visitor Protection, Emergency Preparedness and Planning and Physical Plant Protection. High schools and middle schools are staffed with Campus Security Specialists who work directly with the schools on student safety. Security System Specialists install and maintain all security equipment in the District and a 24-hour dispatch center is the main point of contact for security matters for all school sites. We are a liaison with law enforcement agencies and handle after-hours emergencies relating to the operation critical District systems. DCSD’s Safety and Security department serves and supports the students, parents, employees and the community by offering student, staff and visitor protection; emergency preparedness and planning; and property and asset protection.
Colorado School Safety Resource Center
Department of Homeland Security
Guide to Citizen Preparedness
National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officials
National School Safety Center
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Standard Response Protocol
Superintendent and Board Policies
DCSD Dispatch Communications Center
24 Hour Hotline: 303-387-9999
For emergencies, contact 911 immediately and then call the DCSD Dispatch Center.
The Dispatch Communication Center serves as the primary point of contact for staff, DCSD stakeholders and outside agencies during and after normal business hours.
It is staffed 24-hours a day and is a liaison for multiple law enforcement agencies and has the ability to grant access to all facilities remotely in the event of an emergency.
The Dispatch Communication Center also manages critical operations for the District including, Text-A-Tip, district-wide emergency notifications, security/transportation radio dispatching, alarm monitoring and video surveillance.
In partnership with the law enforcement agencies of Douglas County, DCSD high school students can send an anonymous crime tip via a text message from their cell phone. The tips are completely secure and anonymous. Text-A-Tip
Safe 2 Tell
Safe2Tell provides young people a way to report any threatening behaviors or activities endangering themselves or someone they know, in a way that keeps them safe and anonymous. Safe2Tell
Emergency Management strives to protect the students, staff, facilities, and assets of Douglas County School District through comprehensive planning, detailed training, and extensive practice in order to build, sustain, and improve the capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters, man-made accidents, or criminal acts.
Safety and Security Plan Elements
Potential disasters can include both natural (wildfires, floods, blizzards) and technological (man-made), such as terrorist attacks and chemical incidents. Regardless of the type of emergency, the priorities remain the same: save lives, protect property, minimize economic impacts, & minimize psychological issues. Emergencies can quickly escalate into disasters requiring resources that are not usually available to our individual sites, buildings, or departments.
The Douglas County School District Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) outlines how Douglas County School District (DCSD) will implement life and property saving actions when a major disaster or emergency occurs at one or more of our schools, sites, or buildings. The EOP describes the policies, concept of operations, response and recovery actions, and responsibilities of Douglas County School District departments and sections that guide operations following a major disaster or emergency.
The purpose of the EOP is to provide a framework for response to disasters and other incidents which overwhelm normal resources. The plan will use the principles of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as its backbone and the Incident Command System (ICS) as its basic structure.
Senate Bill-08181 requires all districts to adopt the tenets of the National Response Framework (NRF), including the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS). This Emergency Operations Plan, along with the subsequent emergency management program fulfills and surpasses these requirements.
The Basic Plan includes a description of the organization and assignment of responsibilities, direction, control, and coordination elements. It describes how all the departments, sections, and sites will collaborate in an overall response.
The plan itself is an "Official Use Only" internal document and is not available for public viewing, but if you have any specific concerns or questions pertaining to the Emergency Operation Planning function of DCSD, please feel free to contact Security at 303-387-9999.
In order to fulfill the requirements of Senate Bill-08181 and effectively manage future incidents, Douglas County School District has instituted an Incident Management Team (IMT) to manage the logistical, fiscal, planning, operational, safety and community issues related to the incident/emergency. The IMT will be structured with functional experts manning specific positions and roles to maximize effectiveness. Specific positions, personnel filling those positions and their responsibilities will be chosen by district leadership. The IMT, when activated, will staff the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to provide command and control to the incident/emergency. If you have any questions or concerns regarding Douglas County School District’s Incident Management Team (IMT), please feel free to contact Security at 303-387-9999
Since Douglas County has over 80 public schools, charter schools, and alternative schools, emergency planning must be a primary objective of each individual site. All sites must plan, coordinate, exercise, and respond accordingly to potential incidents that threaten their students, staff, and facilities.
To assist site administrators, Douglas County School District utilizes a system called Standard Response Protocol (SRP) to guide administrators, staff, classrooms, and individual students through standardized responses regardless of the threat. This all-hazards approach focuses not on the incident itself, but rather on the required response by those involved. The SRP provides four simple concise actions to be taken regardless of whether a tornado has been spotted nearby or criminal activity has been reported or a wildfire is on the horizon. Instead of initiating different actions for each scenario, the SRP utilizes the four actions for all potential threats. The four responses are:
Action: Secure the Perimeter
Action: Lock, Lights, Out of Sight
Action: Follow the Directions
Action: Follow the Directions
Drop, Cover and Hold
Drop, Cover and Hold
Seal the Room
Drop and Crawl
Teachers will ensure they have all of their students by taking roll.
About Standard Response Protocol
The Standard Response Protocol was developed by the "I Love U Guys" Foundation, headed by John-Michael Keyes and his wife Ellen-Stoddard Keyes as a result of the tragic and unfortunate death of their daughter Emily Keyes on September 27th, 2006 at Platte Canyon High School. On this day, a gunman entered the high school, held seven girls hostage and ultimately shot and killed Emily Keyes. During the time she was held Hostage, she sent her parents text messages..."I Love You Guys" and "I Love U Guys, K?" The "I Love U Guys" Foundation was created to restore and protect the joy of youth through educational programs and positive actions in collaboration with families, schools, communities, organizations and government agencies. If you would like to know more about the foundation please visit www.iloveuguys.org
Several Front Range School Districts, including the Douglas County School District, have incorporated the Standard Response Protocol into their emergency planning as well as collaborated with our first response partners (law enforcement/fire/medical). Utilization of the Standard Response Protocol puts all staff, students, and first responders on the same page. By standardizing the announcements, responses, actions, and recovery, the district hopes to provide the safest most successful incident outcome.
Important Safety and Security Information
All district schools and facilities have video surveillance cameras for the safety of students, staff, visitors and protection of district assets.
For several years, in cooperation with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, district schools have used random canine inspections to check lockers, vehicles and campus grounds for drugs or drug paraphernalia. Students, staff and parents are notified in advance that this may occur sometime during the year and that there are consequences for having contraband stored in lockers, vehicles and on campus grounds. Using canine inspections serves as an effective deterrent for students who may consider bringing illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia into our schools. Unannounced canine inspections may occur at any time at Douglas County middle and high schools and may include inspections of student lockers and vehicles. Inspections may occur multiple times during the school year. These inspections are authorized by Board of Education Policy JIH. Denying requests by law enforcement or school district personnel to search student property can result in automatic loss of privileges.
- What students and parents can expect during canine inspections:
- One or two dogs may be used during inspections
- Inspections may occur inside and outside the building
- Lockers, vehicles and personal belongings are subject to inspection
- If an alert is obtained on students’ property or assigned locker, the student will be contacted by the school administration or security
- The student will escorted to the office and informed of the alert
- The student’s backpack or personal property may be inspected and they may be asked to empty pockets.
- The student will be escorted to their locker if they have one and the locker will be inspected in the presence of the student
- The student will be escorted to their vehicle if they have one and it will be inspected in their presence
- If contraband is discovered, it will be handled according to the District’s Discipline Matrix and Consequence Guidelines
- If no contraband is discovered, the student will have the alert process explained to them
- At the conclusion of the inspections, the parent(s) of contacted students will be notified by the school admin and informed of the inspections and outcome
Following the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT in December 2012, the Douglas County School District and law enforcement agencies in Douglas County came together to discuss safety needs for DCSD. Through this partnership the Douglas County Safety Committee, which consists of leaders and experts from all disciplines of the DCSD, all four law enforcement agencies in Douglas County, Fire Department and community members, was formed. The DC Safety Committee reviews and evaluates suggestions, recommendations and concerns received from various sources as well as drawing upon its own cadre of experts to explore and implement improved safety measures at all DCSD locations.
In an effort to always be improving the safety of our students, staff and visitors, the DCSD is making additional security enhancements to all school buildings which will provide increased levels of preparedness and improve their response to emergencies. In order to avoid compromising these new enhancements many of the details cannot be shared with the general public, but will improve visitor management/screening, emergency notifications, communication and staff training.
Douglas County Safety Committee identified several areas where school safety could be improved; one of those areas was to provide an increased security presence at elementary and middle schools during the school day. Through partnership with all the law enforcement jurisdictions in Douglas County, the School Marshal Officer Program was created. Every elementary and middle school in the District is assigned a School Marshal Officer (SMO) to be at the school multiple times a day offering an increased presence and deterrence. The officer is able to build relationships with the students and staff and become part of the school community.
The DCSD has Campus Security Specialists assigned to all middle and high schools. Campus Security Specialists work directly with school administration on student supervision, visitor management and general site security measures. The DCSD also has armed patrol officers that provide security for District support facilities and patrol all schools and facilities. These officers respond to various calls and assist after-school events with a variety of safety issues that may occur.
The Douglas County School District Code of Conduct and Discipline defines dangerous weapons as:
- Firearms, loaded or unloaded, or firearm facsimiles that could reasonably be mistaken for an actual firearm.
- Pellet or BB guns or other devices, whether operational or not, designed to propel projectiles by spring action or compressed air.
- Fixed-blade knives with blades that measure longer than three inches in length or spring-loaded knives or pocket knives with blades that measure longer than three and one-half inches in length (the knife blade will be measured from the hilt to the top of the blade); and any knives, regardless of length, which a student uses or presents in a threatening manner.
- Any other object, device, instrument, material, or substance, whether animate or inanimate, used or intended to be used to inflict death or serious bodily injury.
- Parents should be aware that BB guns, "Paint Ball" guns and "Air Soft" guns all fall under the definition of dangerous weapons and must not be brought to school for any purpose.
- We have had instances where students were traveling to another parent's house or to a friend's house and brought their air soft or paint ball guns to school with them so they could use it later. Please do not allow your children to bring these items to school for any purpose. If your child wants to visit a friend after school and use their air soft or paint ball gun, please make other arrangements to get the item to the friend's house.
If parents would like gunlocks for their weapons, free ones are available from Douglas County Sheriff Office, Parker Police, and Castle Rock Police.
Frequently Asked Questions on School Safety and Security
A: There are no dummy or fake cameras at school district facilities.
A: Only Security and School Administration have access to the video. Video recordings are considered an educational record and is subject to the limitation of the privacy act.
A: In 1988, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office partnered with the Douglas County School District to create a School Resource Officer (SRO) program to positively impact the relationship between law enforcement and the young people of the community.
The program began with one deputy/officer serving all secondary schools in the county. At that time, the main focus of the program was creating a liaison between the sheriff's office and students. Consequently, the SRO worked in a non-enforcement capacity, concentrating instead on teaching classes, informally counseling students, and fostering positive relationships with student leaders.
Since then, the needs of the community have changed, and the role of the SRO has expanded to meet those needs. Today, Castle Rock and Parker Police have added a SRO to their departments; there are now nine SROs, one covering each of the nine high schools and their "feeder" middle schools. The SROs are a uniformed presence in the schools, taking incident and offense reports, investigating crimes that occur on school grounds, and gathering intelligence information about potential threats to the schools. At the same time, the SROs have retained their liaison, educational, and counseling roles, resulting in a full range of interaction with students on a daily basis.
Each of the SROs has completed formal School Resource Officer (SRO) training sponsored by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). They also attend periodic refresher training, both locally and nationally, to ensure that they remain on the cutting edge of this vital community service.
A: The district established an Incident Management Team which meets bi-annually. Some team members have received certification at the Federal Emergency Management Institute all-hazard emergency management. Other team members and crisis responders have completed a week-long training from the National Organization of Victim Advocates. National Homeland Security efforts, combined with collaboration with local law enforcement agencies, have helped in information sharing and response.
The District has also developed and implemented an Emergency Operations Plan that meets the requirements of Federal and State laws requiring school districts to plan and prepare for emergencies.
Each school site is required to complete a site hazard assessment, conduct regular emergency drills and update their emergency plan annually.
A: High schools and middle schools have on-site Campus Security Specialists patrolling the interior and exterior of the campuses.