La Plata County commissioners on Tuesday kicked in money from reserves to hire a deputy sheriff for courthouse security.
Area law enforcers say they are working close-ly with school districts to identify potential threats and improve security.
Law-enforcement officers meet every so often in an abandoned warehouse in south Durango to train for the unthinkable – a mass shooting inside a school.
More could be done to fortify local schools, but how far that goes depends on the schools and the communities they serve.
A soccer ball struck Jared Engelken in the head last year during a game. It gave him a black eye.
The Durango High School student went to the school nurse, who suspected he had been in a fight. She called the school counselor.
Many students say they feel safe at area schools, largely because Durango is a tightly knit community where nothing bad ever happens.
In the 1950s, children were taught to duck-and-cover – the act of crawling under a desk in the event of a surprise nuclear attack.
Today, the threat has changed, and so has the drill.
Some politicians and law-enforcement officials have proposed fighting fire with fire – arming school teachers and administrators with concealed weapons as a way to slowdown or stop a gunman.
On a recent visit to Riverview Elementary School, Fire Marshal Karola Hanks wore plain clothes instead of her uniform. She wanted to see if anyone would stop and question her as she inspected the school.
Upon arriving at any school, Kathy Morris scans the campus for graffiti, illegal parking, doors that are propped open and anything that offers easy access to the roof.
All are considered security threats, she said.
School shootings always grab national attention and can tarnish a school’s reputation for decades, but shootings also are the rarest form of school violence.
Much more common are bullying, fighting and bringing dangerous weapons to school.
Dan Riecks was eating lunch in the cafeteria at Columbine High School when he looked out the window and saw a boy lying on the ground.