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Community Crime Escondido

Escondido police, districts focus on school safety

The city’s police department and school officials are joining forces to ensure safety on campuses.

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which resulted in 17 deaths, has spurred action from public and private schools, along with police officials.

Since the Parkland shooting, the Escondido Police Department reported six threats on Escondido campuses, although no shootings materialized. Still, the department said it takes every threat seriously and each is investigated “fully.”

Several meetings have been conducted, according to Lt. Ed Varso, to scrutinize all current safety plans. Plans include evaluations of site security measures including fencing, gates, doors, controlled access points, training, adding a School Resource Officer and encouraging the reporting of suspicious activity.

“Don’t discount what you have heard,” police Chief Craig Carter said. “Call us. If you hear something, see something, say something.”

School officials are in talks to provide funding for additional school resource officers, full-time police officers assigned to service the specific needs on school campuses.

Carter stressed the importance of students understanding the severity of making a school threat. Any threat, regardless of intent, will likely result in felony charges.

Escondido Union High School District Superintendent Steve Boyle spoke on behalf of the various public, private and faith-based schools.

“Our schools are safe places,” he said.

Boyle encouraged staff, parents and students to continue to work together to help ensure the safety of school campuses.

Those with information on a possible school threat can leave an anonymous tip through San Diego Crime Stoppers by calling (888) 580- 8477.

An additional option is to download the “P3 Tips” smartphone app. The app allows users to send an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers for a variety of reasons, including school threats and school bullying incidents.

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