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Group completes assessment of Salida Police Department's response to Sept. 23 incident at high school

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Posted at 3:19 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 20:49:22-05

SALIDA, Colo. — An analysis of the Salida Police Department's response to the Sept. 23 incident at Salida High School has been completed, the city announced Friday.

That day, officers were investigating reports of a suicidal minor who may have been armed with a gun near campus. Principal Talmage Trujillo was arrested Sept. 27 for multiple charges after he refused to comply with authorities, according to a Chaffee County affidavit. He returned to school Oct. 6.

The analysis was completed by Investigative Law Group (ILG), an independent third-party, and focused on the department's internal responses, including communication procedures, incident command structure and standard response practices.

The report noted several "opportunities for improvement." Some provided suggestions include improved communication techniques, better protocols around the implementation of reverse-911 and updating standard responses to meet current emergency response expectation.

“The City of Salida and the Salida Police Department is currently reviewing this report and our standard protocol responses to incidents at all Salida schools," said Mayor Dan Shore. "We’re grateful that there are lessons that can be learned and new policies that can be implemented to provide our children with the safest learning experience. We look forward to working with our partners at the Salida School District on implementation of best practices and following established protocols in the future.”

The Salida School District said it's eagerly awaiting a resolution from the district attorney's office in Trujillo's case.

"We are confident that when the case is completed we will be able to sit down with Salida Police Department and discuss the discrepancies in accounts from that day," the statement says. "In the interim, we find daily success working with our local police to investigate potential threats."

Full report: