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Buena Vista school district buildings went into secure mode Tuesday afternoon after being advised by the Buena Vista Police Department of a vehicle pursuit on U.S. Highway 24.

Because the pursuit took place very close to the schools' dismissal times, BVPD asked the district to secure to avoid student, family and bus traffic on the road until the pursuit was complete, said district superintendent Lisa Yates.

Yates said the schools were under the precautionary lock out for about 15 minutes.

Secure mode is what used to be called going into a lock out, Yates said.

"'Secure' means we do not allow anyone in or out of the building as there is a potential threat or hazard outside the building, she said. "These threats could be a bear on the playground or even a blizzard."

Buena Vista Police Chief Dean Morgan said that the department was made aware from another agency of the pursuit coming into the county from Saguache County, northbound on Highway 285 towards Buena Vista.

"This was only a short time before school is let out. I made the decision, in tandem with our School Resource Officer (Megan DiGirolamo), to place the BV schools in a “Secure” status," Morgan said. "This is terminology from the Standard Response Protocol used by the BVPD and the BV School District, to secure the exterior of the buildings and bring staff and students inside due to a potential threat outside the school. At no time were staff or students in any danger during this incident, but the 'Secure' protocol was enacted only as a precautionary measure in the event the pursuit came toward town limits.

Morgan said that BVPD officers staged south of town to intervene in the pursuit if it became necessary. The pursuit was called off by the other agency and the vehicle was not located, but at no time was it seen in the immediate Buena Vista area.

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