5 minutes with the Craig SRO – Safe2Tell
- The SRO attended a number of trainings, certifications, and meetings including a meeting to discuss suicide ideation with several organizations working together to assist students with mental health issues.
- Followed up with Commerce City and Aurora Police Departments on the Katrina Treacy runway case.
- Received a report of sexual assault.
- At area elementary schools, the SRO responded to reports of a possible homeless person on campus and reports of a possible theft, and assisted the Emergency Medical Service in response to a bicycle accident and in a civil matter between parents.
- At Craig Middle School, the SRO served civil truancy papers, responded to Safe2Tell reports regarding possible suicide attempts by students, responded to a Safe2Tell report of bullying, responded to a Safe2Tell report about treatment of a student by a teacher, responded to a summons relating to six girls drinking alcohol and investigated reports of possible child pornography, theft, sexting and fireworks being set off inside the school by students.
- At Moffat County High School, the SRO investigated two runaway students and a possible case of sexting and sexual assault, responded to evidence of marijuana use by students at the school and assisted to connect students with services in the case of several reports of suicide attempts and suicide ideation by students.
Editors note: Each month, the Craig Press will visit with the school resource officers to keep the community informed about policing activities, trends and the positive work between the school district and Craig Police Department in the protection and education of local children This month, SRO Ryan Fritz discusses the Safe2Tell Colorado program.
Craig Press: What is Safe2Tell?
School Resource Officer Ryan Fritz: Safe2Tell Colorado gives students a safe, anonymous way to help someone who is struggling or hurting. Students are allowed to report anything that concerns or threatens them, their friends, their family or their community.
CP: Why is Safe2Tell important?
Fritz: We encourage our students, that if they see something to say something, and Safe2Tell provides them with a resource to put that into action.
CP: How does it work?
Fritz: Every school district-issued tablet has a Safe2Tell app. Students can also download the app to their own devices and use it to quickly and anonymously submit a tip. Tips may also be submitted through the website safe2tellco.org or by calling 877-542-7233.
It’s 100-percent anonymous. It’s against state statute for the SRO to try and figure out who made the report. Unless they sign it, I have no idea who made the report.
CP: What happens when you receive a tip through Safe2Tell?
Fritz: If it comes in as Safe2Tell, it’s received by the Pueblo Communication Center. The center sends a message that goes to the SRO cellphones and emails. The message is also faxed to the front office at the Moffat County Public Safety Center and dispatch. It is emailed to the school counselor and principal of the school of the incident and Renae Dove, student services/human resources executive director of Staff Services and Personnel for Moffat County School District.
That is the safety net, so that no Safe2Tell report is missed. We work together with the school district to investigate tips and take appropriate action, when necessary.
CP: How often is the program being used?
Fritz: Moffat County has the highest per capita use in the state.
CP: Is that good?
Fritz: I think it’s fantastic. I think anytime a student or anybody can give us information that keeps people safe, that’s good.
CP: How do you know if a tip is legitimate?
Fritz: I don’t know the credibility or lack of credibility. I have to take every tip at face value. I only get that little bit of information. Specificity is key to a good tip. I can’t help people unless I know who they are.
I also look for trends. If I get seven tips in a day all about the same thing or something it wasn’t designed for, then I try to do more education about the kinds of things we are looking for.
CP: What training is provided to help student and parents use the tool?
Fritz: We held assemblies at the start of school. I try to provide examples of good tips and encourage specific information, like screenshots of text messages, to add to the tip.
CP: Besides tips lacking specific information, have you encountered any other difficulties?
Fritz: Sometimes tips come in late, way after the fact, and it was something we’d already looked into and dealt with. It doesn’t change how we investigate, but I wish that students wouldn’t have waited.
CP: How is Safe2Tell helping you as an SRO?
Fritz: Each tip is taken at face value. It helps my judgment to be clearer.
CP: What else would you like readers to know about Safe2Tell?
Fritz: The more we communicate, the better the umbrella and the safety net for our students.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.