AURORA | Colorado’s Safe2Tell program, may be easier to implement across the country, pending legislation from Aurora Congressman Mike Coffman.
He and Connecticut Congressman James Himes, a Democrat who serves where the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting took place, introduced legislation this week that would offer $25 million in grants each year until 2023 for states that develop programs like Safe2Tell, an anonymous tip line monitored 24/7 in Colorado to alert law enforcement about threats of school violence.
The program was established in Colorado after the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, and has gained a lot of interest from across the U.S.
Susan Payne, the program director for Safe2Tell, says 21 states have asked for advice in starting their own similar tip line. Michigan, Wyoming and Nevada have already implemented something similar, based on Colorado’s program.
Colorado education leaders claim the program is a proven resources. A news release from Coffman’s office quotes Chris Gdowski, Superintendent of Adams 12 Five Star Schools, as a major proponent of Safe2Tell for its role in school safety.
“Over the past four years, we’ve seen our Safe2Tell reports more than double because our communities recognize and embrace the importance of sharing every safety concern, and they can access Safe2Tell 24/7 while maintaining their anonymity,” Gdowski said in the release.
Earlier this year, Coffman introduced another measure related to gun violence and safety: a “red flag” bill that would offer grants to states that adopt legislation creating such laws that allow for courts to temporarily confiscate guns from people if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others.
A similar state bill was defeated in the Colorado Legislature this year.
— KARA MASON, Staff Writer