After the shocking events of Colorado's Columbine High School shooting, which left 15 people dead and many more wounded, Colorado's Attorney General Ken Salazar and Governor Bill Owens convened a state-wide study to offer recommendations that could prevent another school massacre from ever happening again. As a direct outcome of the Columbine Commission's Report, the Safe2Tell Initiative was created to implement a critical recommendation: To provide an anonymous venue for parents, students, teachers, school administrators, and law enforcement to share information.
Research shows that in 81% of violent incidents in U.S. schools, someone other than the attacker knew it was going to happen but failed to report it . Typically, the information goes unreported because of fear of being a 'snitch' or that the attacker will then target the informant, thereby creating a 'code of silence'.
To penetrate this code of silence, Safe2Tell Colorado initially was founded as a 501c3 non-profit organization, incorporated to develop a statewide anonymous reporting tool available 24-hours a day to accept reports whenever a Colorado youth or concerned adult perceived a threat to their safety or the safety of others.
Originally funded through the generous grants and contributions of national government organizations and Colorado foundations, Safe2Tell Colorado operated for ten years as a public-private partnership combining safety resources of the Colorado State Patrol, the Colorado Department of Public Safety, the Colorado Department of Law with the oversight of programming by an independent, non-profit Board of Directors.
Anonymity is key to the success of the Safe2Tell Colorado model. Both state law and the procedures established by Safe2Tell Colorado guaranteed the anonymity of every reporter (and still do today). Calls were answered at a Colorado State Patrol communication center; later web and mobile app reports were added. When action is needed, information immediately is forwarded to local school officials and law enforcement agencies, as appropriate. Safe2Tell Colorado developed a component of accountability ensuring that each report was investigated by school and law enforcement agencies, that action was taken, and that the outcome was tracked. The assurance that calls were not traced and that appropriate action was taken established the trust needed to persuade young people to move away from a code of silence and to take a stand. Safe2Tell Colorado has worked to create positive peer pressure and empower young people to keep their community safe.
On May 5, 2014, the Colorado General Assembly adopted Senate Bill 2014-002 (C.R.S. Section 24-31-601 et seq.), incorporating Safe2Tell under the Colorado Office of the Attorney General. This provided the necessary funding to ensure the Safe2Tell Colorado reporting avenues (phone, web, and mobile app), trainings and education and awareness efforts remain available to Colorado students, schools, and communities. Colorado legislators came together and voted unanimously to pass this critical legislation, showing a bipartisan effort to creating safer schools and communities. Senate Bill 2014-002 was signed into law on May 21, 2014 by Governor John Hickenlooper and became enacted on August 8, 2014. Safe2Tell Colorado now operates as a state funded program of the Colorado Department Law, Office of the Attorney General.
Historical Overview of Safe2Tell in Colorado
 US Secret Service and US Department of Education, The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative and Implications of School Attacks in the United States. May 2002, p.34.