JCSO addresses high number of school threats

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Sheriff also addresses traffic issues, burglaries in Jeffco

By Corinne Westeman

Local law enforcement addressed threats at schools during each of the first four weeks of the school year, Jeffco Sheriff Jeff Shrader said.

Shrader presented the third-quarter 2017 Law Enforcement Authority report at the Board of County Commissioners’ Oct. 24 meeting, stating that several Jeffco schools received threats that required investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff told the commissioners that because of what he called, for lack of a better term, “the Columbine effect,” JCSO tends to investigate a school threat at least once a month. However, this August, the office had an unusually high number of threats — four in the first two weeks of school, including at Dakota Ridge and Conifer high schools and Falcon Bluffs Middle School.

According to the report, the threats either were found to have no validation or were resolved internally.

“We can’t ignore (school threats) when they come up,” Shrader told the commissioners. “They require additional resources each time, so we can prove there’s no concern to students or school staff.”

Other items of note in the LEA report for South Jeffco and/or mountain area included:

• The traffic unit scheduled nine additional shifts during peak travel days and times along Highway 285 in July in an effort to reduce crashes. Deputies served an additional 147 summonses during these shifts.

• Six burglaries in Jeffco were linked to a crew committing crimes across the Denver metro area. In July, a vehicle, jewelry and a handgun were stolen in Evergreen; tools, electronics, jewelry and a vehicle were stolen in Indian Hills; and a vehicle was stolen in Littleton. In August, two additional burglaries occurred in Evergreen. In September, three suspects were arrested metro-wide and others identified. The investigation, led by Metro Auto Theft Task Force, is ongoing.

Additionally, Shrader stated that, after moving 10 additional deputies to patrol this November, JCSO will be at full staff in the patrol function. It also will be fully staffed in the criminal investigations unit by the beginning of 2018.