At the invitation of Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin, agents from the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service visited the Dolores School District RE-4A at the end of October to conduct a security survey of the campus.
Agents drove down from Denver on Oct. 30 for an all-day visit with the Sheriff’s Office to analyze the district’s implementation of security measures such as surveillance, door locks and other factors that contribute to the safety of Dolores students.
The agency provided a report of its findings to the sheriff and school district, and it is currently under review by the district security team, which was scheduled to meet Wednesday. The survey and report did not cost the district any money, Nowlin said.
Nowlin told The Journal that the major findings from the walk-through showed “for the most part,” safety and security in the school district is “not bad.”
“A lot of the things we are doing and have done (to keep kids safe) ... reached a very high mark,” Nowlin told The Journal during a phone interview Wednesday. “We’re doing better than most.”
The Journal has not received a copy of Homeland Security’s report, as parts of it contain sensitive information regarding security vulnerabilities in and around the school district, Nowlin said.
Nowlin said that he is looking to have the Colorado Information Analysis Center, which worked in conjunction with Homeland Security to provide the security report, train at least one of his deputies to complete surveys similar to the one conducted in October.
According to Nowlin, the surveys are meant for assessing “vulnerable infrastructure,” and schools are one of the top priorities for assessment.
Landslide risksNowlin also said he is working to have representatives from the Colorado Department of Transportation visit the school to do another safety survey regarding the hillside next to the school.
Nowlin said heavier traffic on County Road 31, which runs along the ridge north of the school campus, may be loosening large rocks and boulders that could pose a threat to the district in the case of a landslide.
He says CDOT’s survey would provide a better idea of how serious the risk is, and what the district can do to mitigate it.