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New School Safety Tip Line Should Surpass Duration Of Its Predecessor

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A new safety tip line has been launched for Oregon public schools, to report possible or actual threats against students.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports,   Oregon State Police announced “SafeOregon” this week. 

More than 60 schools are already signed up for SafeOregon.  The 24-7 tip line lets people confidentially report suspicious or dangerous activity to authorities.

Sue Graves is the Safety Coordinator for the Lincoln County School District, and member of the Oregon Task Force for School Safety…which helped create the service. 

“In a lot of situations that the FBI and the Secret Service and other agencies have researched, a lot of times students or other people knew or had an inkling that something might happen," Graves tells KLCC.

"It’s called ‘leakage’…someone will share something…a concern or something they’ve heard or something they’ve seen on Facebook, or another social media site, about a possible violent incident.” 

Graves says the state’s justice and education departments used to run the Oregon School Safety Hotline, but lack of funds caused it to end in March 2006, not even two years after it launched.

An OSP official says $1 million from the state’s general fund has been appropriated to SafeOregon for five years, which can be renewed by the legislature. 

 Schools must sign up to use SafeOregon.  Users can email tips at tip@safeoregon.com, or call or text 844-472-3367.  The service is free for all public schools.

Copyright 2017, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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