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Shooting and bomb threat studied

by Larry Patrick

WALSENBURG- Walsenburg interim police chief Jim Chamberlain told the Walsenburg City Council that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation will soon have their report on the fatal shooting that occurred last month in the City.  At that time, police officer Kyle Petkoff apparently shot through a window and killed Armando Gallegos during a domestic disturbance call.  Petkoff has been on administrative leave since the shooting.  Chief Chamberlain told this reporter that the delay in releasing the report has been CBI’s problems of getting all the people interviewed on schedules that worked with everyone involved.

    Two minors were arrested for the bomb threat at John Mall High School last week in Walsenburg.  He said the two are to be charged with a felony.  The Chief said dogs were brought in by Colorado Springs Police that are trained in sniffing out explosives and none were found. The City’s police dog was also used in the investigation which helped lead to the arrests. He praised the work of his department and that of the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies and fire department.  Chamberlain says a better plan needs to be put together to handle such situations. City Councilwoman Erin Jerant, who is also the RE-1 school board president, says the school is looking to revise some of their policies following the bomb threat.

    Councilwoman Silvana Lind asked if the city and county buildings had security plans in place? Chief Chamberlain said some plans had been started by former chief Larry Baldanado, but that more work needs to be done for the City.    Some of the problems encountered with the bomb threat were the use of fire alarms, some teachers locking classroom doors when they needed to be open to check them out, and consideration of evacuating nearby homes after such a threat.  Homeland Security was notified of the incident as such things are often considered potential terrorist attacks.

    Chief Chamberlain said he is attending a media relations class in Golden, Colorado that deals with how police can work with the news media in handling news and information in many kinds of situations.