Head of security confident in safety of Denver Public Schools

DENVER -- Schools are the safest place for kids, Denver Public Schools chief of public safety Michael Eaton said, one day after one of the worst school shootings in American history.

"It just took my breath away that we were dealing with this once again,” Eaton said.

He went on to say it made him feel energized more than ever to make sure DPS is a safe place for students.

“We are monitoring the situation, looking at trends and looking at lesson learned,” Eaton said.

Officials in Parkland, Florida, said the suspect pulled a fire alarm before he started firing his weapon.

“Those are opportunities for us to make sure we are incorporating those scenarios into our drills to prepare kids for that potential situation,” Eaton said.

Every school in DPS is required to have two unannounced lockdown drills within the first 30 days of a semester, essentially twice a school year.

Eaton has a team of experts who monitor every drill and provide instant feedback to school leaders.

“Check doors, knock on doors, check to see if people come to answer. Do we hear any noise coming from classrooms? If we look at windows are students out of sight? Have things gone the way we would expect them to go in a real-life satiation?” Eaton said.

Eaton said lockdowns can save lives and it’s why two years ago, DPS installed $3 million remote system.

With the push of a button, a dispatcher can place any school in the district on lockdown or lockout in seconds.

“It also locks out the card readers for that school so only law enforcement and safety personnel can gain access. It also alerts us to summon emergency services immediately,” he said.

“If we can cut down the amount of time it takes to initiate a lock down at a school, we can save lives and we can predict outcomes.”