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Police say Bear Creek students should feel safe

9:36 PM, Jan 7, 2014   |    comments
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LAKEWOOD - When students return to classes from Winter Break on Wednesday, they may see extra police officers or other added security measures, after comments made by a former student angry with a current staff member at Bear Creek High School.

"We thought because of the content of that conversation that it was very, very wise that we start an investigation into this to see how feasible this was; how credible it was, and we've done that," Steve Davis, Lakewood Police spokesman, said.

Davis says police investigators were notified when this former male student told another person his feelings about a worker at Bear Creek High School. On Monday, the school district sent a message to parents talking about a potential threat involving Bear Creek.

"I'm not even going to use the word threat," Davis said. "This was a 3rd party conversation."

Yet, it was enough for Lakewood Police to create a plan to have added officers at Bear Creek High School when students return on Thursday and for an unspecified time after that.

"It will be more than just tomorrow," Davis said. "Sadly, these types of situations are not rare anymore. It's a shame that we have to treat every single one of these as though it could be the one."

John Nicoletti is a police psychologist who also consults the Jefferson County School District on security matters. Nicoletti says communication with the school community is important in serious security issues, especially so soon after the shooting at Arapahoe High School.

"If parents see a change at school, they're going to get concerned anyway," Nicoletti said. "So, you want to be open and honest with parents. Plus, you kinda want eyes and ears if parents hear something or their kids hear it."

Nicoletti says every security question should be taken seriously even if it means causing parents to be a little concerned.

"What people don't realize is there's a lot of success cases where people pick up concerns and take steps and nothing ever happens," Nicoletti says.

With regards to Bear Creek High School, Davis says Lakewood Police is "on top" of the situation. He says no crime has been committed because no direct threat was made. Davis says investigators have talked with the former student and the current staff member and he says there is no reason for students and parents to be alarmed.

"I don't know if alarmed is the correct word. Concerned? Always," Davis said. "We have to investigate every one of these as though it could be extremely serious."

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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