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Founding Members Safe2Tell

After the shocking events of Colorado's Columbine High School shooting, which left 15 people dead and many more wounded, Colorado's Attorney General Ken Salazar and Governor Bill Owens convened a state-wide study to offer recommendations that could prevent another school massacre from ever happening again. As a direct outcome of the Columbine Commission's Report, the Safe2Tell Initiative was created to implement a critical recommendation: To provide an anonymous venue for parents, students, teachers, school administrators, and law enforcement to share information.

Research shows that in 81% of violent incidents in U.S. schools, someone other than the attacker knew it was going to happen but failed to report it [1]. Typically, the information goes unreported because of fear of being a 'snitch' or that the attacker will then target the informant, thereby creating a 'code of silence'.

To penetrate this code of silence, Safe2Tell Colorado initially was founded as a 501c3 non-profit organization, incorporated to develop a statewide anonymous reporting tool available 24-hours a day to accept reports whenever a Colorado youth or concerned adult perceived a threat to their safety or the safety of others. 

Originally funded through the generous grants and contributions of national government organizations and Colorado foundations, Safe2Tell Colorado operated for ten years as a public-private partnership combining safety resources of the Colorado State Patrol, the Colorado Department of Public Safety, the Colorado Department of Law with the oversight of programming by an independent, non-profit Board of Directors.

Bill Signing 2007

Anonymity is key to the success of the Safe2Tell Colorado model. Both state law and the procedures established by Safe2Tell Colorado guaranteed the anonymity of every reporter (and still do today). Calls were answered at a Colorado State Patrol communication center; later web and mobile app reports were added. In March of 2019, Safe2Tell analysts at the Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) began answering tips. When action is needed, information immediately is forwarded to local school officials and law enforcement agencies, as appropriate. Safe2Tell Colorado developed a component of accountability ensuring that each report was investigated by school and law enforcement agencies, that action was taken, and that the outcome was tracked. The assurance that calls were not traced and that appropriate action was taken established the trust needed to persuade young people to move away from a code of silence and to take a stand. Safe2Tell Colorado has worked to create positive peer pressure and empower young people to keep their community safe.

On May 5, 2014, the Colorado General Assembly adopted Senate Bill 2014-002 (C.R.S. Section 24-31-601 et seq.), incorporating Safe2Tell under the Colorado Office of the Attorney General. This provided the necessary funding to ensure the Safe2Tell Colorado reporting avenues (phone, web, and mobile app), trainings and education and awareness efforts remain available to Colorado students, schools, and communities. Colorado legislators came together and voted unanimously to pass this critical legislation, showing a bipartisan effort to creating safer schools and communities. Senate Bill 2014-002 was signed into law on May 21, 2014 by Governor John Hickenlooper and became enacted on August 8, 2014. Safe2Tell Colorado now operates as a state funded program of the Colorado Department Law, Office of the Attorney General.

Bill Signing 2014

Historical Overview of Safe2Tell in Colorado

1999: Columbine Tragedy
2000: Information Sharing Law Passed
2001: Attorney General’s Pro-Active Involvement in creating anonymous reporting for students
2002: Partnership with the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence to establish Safe Communities ~ Safe Schools Model
2003: The Colorado Trust invests in establishing initial Safe2Tell model for Colorado
2004: Safe2Tell goes live with Colorado State Patrol as main answering point
2006 & 2012: Safe2Tell invited to the White House to present model as a solution to safer schools
2007: First Safe2Tell Legislation Passed to establish anonymous reporting statute
2007: Safe2Tell Web Reporting Introduced
2012: Second Safe2Tell Legislation Passed to include all methods of reporting
2014: Senate Bill 2014-002- Transferring to the Colorado Attorney General's Office
2015: Mobile App Reporting Introduced
2019: Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) Safe2Tell analysts began answering tips

[1] US Secret Service and US Department of Education, The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative and Implications of School Attacks in the United States. May 2002, p.34.