CONTACT: Lt. Ed Varso

PHONE: 760-839-4444

DATE: 04-09-18

Escondido Police and School Officials Hold Joint News Conference

In the wake of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, police and school officials announced a collaborative effort to ensure the safety of Escondido campuses. The news conference was attended by school administrators from Escondido public, private, and faith based schools. Police and school officials have held numerous meetings in the short time that has elapsed since the Parkland, Florida school shooting. The focus of those meetings has been to further scrutinize all existing school safety plans. Virtually every aspect of school safety is being re-evaluated. This includes physical site security measures (fencing, gates, doors, and controlled access points), training, adding a School Resource Officer, and encouraging the reporting of suspicious activity. Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter said, “Don’t discount what you have heard. Call us. If you hear something, see something, say something.” School officials are in talks to provide funding for an additional School Resource Officer (SRO). SRO’s are full-time Escondido police officers who are assigned to service the specific needs on school campuses. Although all Escondido police officers can respond to schools when needed, the SRO’s have developed a bond with staff and students that leads to more open communication. The open communication results in SRO’s receiving information early and being able to quickly handle potential safety concerns before a true threat emerges. 


Since February, police have investigated approximately six threats on Escondido school campuses. All threats are taken seriously and investigated fully. Chief Carter stressed the importance of students to understand the severity of making a school threat. Any threat, regardless of intent will likely result in felony charges.


Escondido Union High School District Superintendent Steve Boyle spoke on behalf of the various public, private, and faith based schools in Escondido. Mr. Boyle said, “Our schools are safe places.” He encouraged staff, parents, and students to continue to work together to help ensure the safety of school campuses.


Those with information on a possible school threat can leave an anonymous tip through San Diego Crime Stoppers by calling 888-580-8477. An additional option is to download the “P3 Tips” smartphone app. The app allows users to send an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers for a variety of reasons, including school threats and school bullying incidents.


The strong partnership and open communication that exists between Escondido police, school officials, and the community are a vital component to keeping our schools safe.


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