King hired to audit security at Mesa State

A Grand Junction lawmaker in favor of requiring that Colorado schools develop and practice crisis plans has been contracted to audit Mesa State College’s campus security plan.

Dana Nunn, spokeswoman for the college, said Mesa State in June awarded the $17,850 security-audit contract to American National Protective Services Inc., where state Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, serves as chief operating officer.

The college contract, Nunn said, calls for audits of campus security, the college’s agreement with the Grand Junction Police Department and the college’s emergency preparedness plan.
Nunn said King is expected to present his final report to the college this week.

“Obviously, Mesa State takes seriously the charge to maintain a safe and secure campus,” Nunn said. “And Steve King has expertise in both safety and security as well as an intimate knowledge of local law enforcement, which made him an ideal third-party auditor.”

King, who was elected to the Legislature in 2004, had worked as a patrol officer and investigator for the Grand Junction Police Department and Mesa County Sheriff’s Department since 1980.

King declined to comment on how he learned about or obtained the contract. He also declined to comment on his audit’s findings, calling it a matter of client privacy.

Nunn said she was unsure if the college collected bids for the contract, but its amount falls short of the $25,000 threshold that would require a public, competitive bidding process.

Just as King finalizes his audit for Mesa State, legislative staff are drafting legislation for King that would mandate that schools, kindergarten through college, develop and practice plans to confront school shootings or other crisis situations.

King’s bill would build on a 2008 law requiring that school districts start to develop security and crisis-management plans by July 2009.

King declined to comment on whether American National Protective Services Inc. has performed security audits for any other colleges, universities or schools.

Asked if he hoped to perform school-security audits following the passage of his proposal, he declined to comment.

King said he has been and will be careful not to allow his company to benefit from his work in Denver.

“That way you don’t have those ethical dilemmas, those questions from the public that you’re running legislation just to put food on the table or make your business grow,” King said.

“That’s not the intent.”


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