(Oct. 20, 2022) - Today, Governor Polis joined the Colorado School Safety Resource Center within the Colorado Department of Public Safety at the annual Safe School Summit to discuss strategies to make schools safer. The summit brings together important voices such as community leaders, school officials, parents, law enforcement and mental health professionals to learn and develop innovative strategies for school safety. Governor Polis proclaimed October school safety month in Colorado.
“One of our administration’s top priorities is keeping students safe and ensuring Colorado kids can thrive in school. We have made historic investments in education because when we invest in children and their safety, we invest in our shared future,” said Gov. Polis. “Students and teachers deserve to have the safest environments and parents deserve to have peace of mind that their child is safe in school which is why I am committed to making Colorado one of ten safest states in the country.”
This year, the legislature passed and Governor Polis signed a transformative public safety package which focuses on making communities safer, including schools. The Governor’s public safety package addressed comprehensive crime prevention strategies through increased funding for local and community-based projects, law enforcement workforce, and better resources to stop crimes before they happen, including through funding the School Safety Disbursement Program. This program invests six million dollars in grants for schools to increase school safety. The public safety package also created the Delinquency Prevention and Youth Offenders Intervention program which aims to intervene early and keep more youth out of the system.
Another focus in the Governor's school safety improvements is expanded mental and behavioral health resources for youth. Under Governor Polis, the state has expanded mental and behavioral health resources for all Coloradans making resources more accessible and affordable. The behavior health task force was created to efficiently address behavioral health care statewide. The Polis administration also increased funding for the I-Matter program which provides six free behavioral health sessions to Colorado youth and extended this program in the past legislative session.