Because young people often know about troubling events before they occur, Safe2Tell – developed in response to the Columbine Commission's recommendations – gives students in all Colorado schools an increased ability to both prevent and report violence by making anonymous calls to 1-877-542-SAFE. The hotline enables students – as well as teachers, parents and others – to provide information about situations that make them feel unsafe either on the school grounds or in the community, without fear of retribution for reporting such situations.
The Colorado Trust first funded the development and start-up of the Safe2Tell program in 2003 and provided an additional grant in 2006. Safe2Tell also receives in-kind and financial support from the Colorado State Patrol. Numerous other organizations also support the work of Safe2Tell, including the Colorado Department of Public Safety and the Colorado Department of Education. Senate Bill 07-197, signed into law by Gov. Bill Ritter on May 3, 2007, and procedures established by Safe2Tell for receiving and forwarding tips, guarantee the anonymity of every caller. Additionally, the statewide program:
- Provides training and other resources to help schools and communities promote and put the program in place, whether as a new program or in conjunction with existing programs
- Provides assistance to school officials in addressing unsafe situations
- Runs a centralized database to help track the types of calls received, and how tips are forwarded and resolved.
Through April 2009, the hotline received more than 5,000 calls representing 133 cities and 52 counties across Colorado. As a result of these calls, law enforcement and school personnel have intervened in hundreds of instances, including interventions that directly resulted in the prevention of 141 suicides, and responses to 285 substance abuse calls and 28 threats of planned school attacks.
In 2007, the Safe2Tell program was the first recipient of The Colorado Trust's John R. Moran, Jr. Grantee Leadership Award.
Nancy Csuti, DrPH, Director of Research, Evaluation & Strategic Learning, The Colorado Trust, 303-837-1200
Detective Susan Payne, Program Director, Safe2Tell, 719-272-7233
This is a statewide initiative.
GRANT TIMEFRAME: 2003-2009
GRANT AMOUNT: $750,000
CONTACT: GAY COOK