Safe2tell Colorado is a tool that was launched five years following the Columbine High School shooting that killed 15 people and wounded many. Following the school shooting, Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar and Governor Bill Owens began a study in search of tools that could be used to prevent another school shooting. Out of this study, safe2tell Colorado was created. Safe2tell expands the reach of law enforcement by engaging and enlisting community members to report behavior that threatens their safety or the safety of others. Since its creation in 2004, more than 21,000 reports have been filed by students, teachers, parents, and other community members.
The safe2tell Colorado platform allows users to submit anonymously 24 hours of the day via the web (safe2tellco.org), a toll-free hotline (1-877-542-7233), and even a mobile app found on the Apple app store and Google Play. Types of issues reported include bullying, suicide, substance abuse, child abuse, planned school attacks, mental health issues, and more. On the web and mobile app platforms, users complete a form and can even submit photos and/or videos related to the concern. If a user calls the hotline, a trained professional will gather appropriate and necessary information. On all platforms, anonymity is maintained and encouraged; there is no caller ID for the hotline.
To use the safe2tell Colorado app, users download the app and begin by selecting their location, school, and type of offense. Next, users submit as much information as possible, including the person involved in the threat/activity (if known), the date and time of the event, the location, and the names of anyone who may be able to provide more information about the situation. Photos and videos can be uploaded if available. After submitting the tip, users will receive a tip number and password that can be used to follow the status of the tip or provide more information if needed. Cases are sent to schools and law enforcement, such as the Colorado State Police, for investigation.
In the 2015 – 2016 school year alone, 5,821 reports were received, approximately one fourth of all reports received since its launch in 2004. In addition to annual reports, which can be found on their website, safe2tell reports quick data on a monthly basis. In November 2016, about 50% of reports were reported through the safe2tell webpage, 27% were reported via the hotline, and 22% of cases were reported through the mobile app. The top categories of reports during in November 2016 were suicide threats, bullying, drugs, and cutting.