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There is a drumbeat in Douglas County. It is a rhythm that is present in all of us — many days, it is background noise that blends in with the other sounds of our lives. There are days, though, when the drumbeat reaches full volume.
The drumbeat is what ties us all together — the partnerships and friendships that make a county of 850 square miles seem small, warm and comfortable. Recent events involving our local law enforcement partners have raised the drumbeat to a level that is nearly impossible to ignore. In times like these, we all put our differences and disagreements aside to come together as a community and family.
The support and love shown by our county in recent days is the reason I live and work in Douglas County. Here in the Douglas County School District, we partner with four different law enforcement jurisdictions: the Castle Rock, Lone Tree and Parker police departments, as well as the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Did you know your school district is in contact with our law enforcement partners every day? The deputies and officers in Douglas County work around the clock to ensure our students and staff are safe at school. It truly is a community effort. At our high schools, you will find our School Resource Officers. They are law enforcement employees who are assigned to one high school to provide security and support. At our elementary and middle schools, our School Marshal Officers make multiple unannounced visits to the schools each day. They are also law enforcement employees who visit and patrol our schools.
If there is a concern in one of our 89 schools, students can send a text from their cell phone. The Text-A-Tip program is completely secure and anonymous. We also utilize the Safe2Tell program in DCSD. Anyone can call and submit an anonymous report about anything that concerns or threatens you, your friends, your family or your community.
DCSD works closely with our police and sheriff’s teams to ensure we have the best possible protection for our children. While they may assist with a law enforcement issue at our schools, they are also building relationships. It is incredibly heartwarming to see our deputies and officers interact with our kids, and even go the extra mile to make sure they are successful in school!
I am incredibly proud of DCSD’s relationship with our four law enforcement partners. It is a strong relationship that typically goes unnoticed.
The drumbeat is loud and strong these days in Douglas County as we continue to support and pray for the family and friends of Zackari Parrish, as well as all of the deputies, officers and civilians so greatly impacted by this recent tragedy.
On behalf of the Douglas County School District, I want to thank each and every one of our law enforcement partners. Every day, you put yourselves in harm’s way to serve and protect all of us. I also want to thank the families of our men and women in blue — I can only imagine the waiting and the worrying you experience, knowing that your loved one may be in danger. You all have our deep appreciation and respect for your service to our students and our community.
Douglas County, thank you for hearing the loud drumbeat and supporting one another during this time.
Together, we are stronger.
Erin Kane is the interim superintendent of the Douglas County School District.
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