Among the many issues highlighted by last month’s deadly shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch is the role on-campus police officers play at our schools. In the wake of the mass shooting, we’d learn that STEM School staffed a private security guard instead of a school resource officer, thanks to a falling out with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
It’s not clear whether having a sheriff’s deputy on campus would have made a difference, but it led us to examine just how the Denver metro area’s school districts handle campus security.
Reporters Meg Wingerter and Elise Schmelzer collected and analyzed data from 14 school districts and various law enforcement agencies, and found that the Douglas County School District has fewer police officers on its middle school and high school campuses as compared to student population than any other district in the metro area.
Their reporting also revealed the patchwork of different arrangements between Denver-area school districts and law enforcement agencies to provide school resources officers. Some districts pay part of the cost for these police services, others don’t. And some school districts supplement on-campus law enforcement with their own security teams.
There’s no one answer to how the Denver area’s districts try to keep their schools safe, and that means some have students see more protection on their campuses than others.
– Matt Sebastian, Enterprise Editor of The Denver Post
Five of The Denver Post’s best stories this week
Sgt. Mike Touchton, left, leads a class to teach officers best practices when they arrive on a scene to a school shooting at Frank DeAngelis Community Safety Center in Denver on April 16, 2019. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post file)
An analysis of data from 14 Denver area school districts by The Denver Post shows that the Douglas County School District — which includes STEM School Highlands Ranch — has fewer police officers on its middle school and high school campuses as compared to student population than any other district in the Denver metro area. Read more from Meg Wingerter and Elise Schmelzer.
Erin Sloan measures hibiscus for Wren Wright at Village Roaster on Thursday, May 30, 2019. (AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post)
“In every way, I just think this was so ill-advised and premature,” said Laurie Hessemer, owner of Casa Verde Paint in Denver of new tax rules that impact e-commerce. Last week Gov. Jared Polis signed House Bill 1240, which requires businesses to pay sales taxes for the jurisdiction they are selling to. That’s causing headaches for some small-business owners like Hessemer. Read more from Joe Rubino.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, left, and mayoral candidate Jamie Giellis take part in a debate sponsored by The Denver Post at the Denver Press Club on May 28, 2019 in Denver. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)
The two remaining candidates for Denver’s mayor have had quite a week. It began on Monday with the Denver Post debate, included a midweek apology from Michael Hancock and ended with news that a supporter of Jamie Giellis gave money to former candidate Lisa Calderón after she endorsed Giellis. The story above cuts through all that drama and lays out where the two candidates stand on the city’s biggest issues. Read more from Andrew Kenney and Jon Murray.
MORE COVERAGE OF THE DENVER MAYORAL RACE
Courtney Samuel, founder of Bodies by Perseverance, at his fitness center located in Five Points in Denver on May 23, 2019. (Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post)
Courtney Samuel and his wife, Jennifer, moved their personal training and fitness studio into a low-slung building at the corner of 29th and Welton in August. He called the opportunity to operate a business in a historic cultural district once known as the “Harlem of the West” humbling and motivation to work harder. But he notes that nowadays, the neighborhood demographic has changed. Read more from Joe Rubino.
Cherry Creek High School baseball coach Marc Johnson. (Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post)
At last count, Johnson has tutored some 400 collegians and 51 MLB draft picks, six plucked in the first round, since he built the Bruins from the ground up in 1972. On May 13, Johnson became only the third prep coach in state history, in any sport, to amass 800 or more victories at one school. Read more from Sean Keeler.
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Photo of the Week
The Thunderbirds jets soar overhead during the 2019 United States Air Force Academy Graduation Ceremony at the academy’s Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs on May 30, 2019. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)