Directing law enforcement

Buena Vista Police Chief Jimmy Tidwell directs law enforcement stationed outside Avery-Parsons Elementary School Thursday afternoon during a lockout of district schools in response to reports of a suspicious person.

Buena Vista – Buena Vista schools were placed on lockout Thursday afternoon by the Buena Vista Police Department following reports of a suspicious person.

The Buena Vista Police Department reported that it received information at about 2 p.m. from an another agency concerning a social media post about schools.

The Buena Vista School District notified parents about 2:54 p.m. Thursday that Buena Vista police had put the schools in lockout. The text and phone notifications stated the schools would dismiss on time with officers on duty to escort students.

Police Chief Jimmy Tidwell said law enforcement officers from Salida Police Department, Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado State Patrol and Buena Vista Police Department responded to the schools and coordinated with the Buena Vista School District to make sure students were safe.

Avery-Parsons Elementary School Principal Judy Lynn told parents outside the school that the lockout was called due to reports of a person in the area who was deemed to be a possible threat.

Lynn said students were safe and would be released at the normal time.

Law enforcement officers were on duty to escort students at all schools.

Students who walk or ride to school were required to be picked up by their parents, according to a text and phone alert sent to families.

“The students were in no danger at any time,” Tidwell said. “Buena Vista Police Department is assisting in the investigation with another law enforcement agency involved in the case.”

All schools in the Salida School District were also briefly placed on lockout. The district posted a notice to parents about the lockout on its app at about 3:12 p.m. At 3:48 p.m. it announced schools would release at their normal times.

Salida Superintendent David Blackburn said school resource officers opted to institute the lockout as a precaution because of the Buena Vista situation.

Mountain Mail staff contributed to this story.

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