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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Responding-to-San-Bernardino.aspxResponding to San BernardinoGP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652017-05-01T04:00:00Zhttps://adminsm.asisonline.org/pages/holly-gilbert-stowell.aspx, Holly Gilbert Stowell<p>​Fourteen people were shot and killed during a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center (IRC) in San Bernardino, California, on December 2, 2015. The incident was eventually classified as an act of terrorism, because the shooters had ties to the Islamic State. </p><p>Employees of the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health had gathered for an employee training and luncheon in the morning hours when the male shooter, who was also employed by the county, and his wife opened fire. In addition to the 14 killed, 22 county health workers were injured, and hundreds were evacuated from the IRC. </p><p>Assistant Chief of Police Eric McBride tells Security Management that his department was immediately reliant on outside organizations for help in the aftermath. “We had several hundred people, including victims that weren’t wounded, from the scene, and witnesses that needed to be transported to an offsite location so they could be interviewed,” he says. </p><p>The department has a longstanding relationship with a local church that can seat several thousand people in its worship area. “We’ve used their facility in the past for training…so we were able to call them up and were able to have people transported by buses to that church,” McBride says. “It was a large location where they could be secured, away from prying eyes.”</p><p>The school district’s emergency manager, a sworn police officer, arrived at the IRC and began coordinating school bus routes to transport people to the church for interviews with law enforcement. The police department also solicited the help of Omnitrans, the San Bernardino regional bus service, for transport. “Everybody that survived was transported from the scene within about 45 minutes of the incident,” he says. </p><p>Conducting witness interviews as soon as possible is paramount to an investigation, McBride explains, so the quick coordination helped greatly in the overall response. It was also beneficial to have the witnesses spread out in a large facility. “It’s important to somewhat isolate [witnesses] so they don’t hear each other provide their statements,” he says. “Their statements need to be pure, and not be influenced by what someone else says.” </p><p>McBride notes that in the chaos of an active shooter event, friends and family are understandably anxious to locate their loved ones. However, many survivors leave their cellphones behind and are unable to communicate their safety. Law enforcement disseminated information through social media that status updates on survivors and victims would be given by the police  only at a nearby community recreational center. This kept people and media from swarming the church after word had gotten out that interviews were taking place there. </p><p>The San Bernardino suspects were still being actively pursued by police in the hours after the shooting. This element of uncertainty among the public made communication even more critical for the department, McBride explains. </p><p>The police set up a media staging area outside a Hilton Garden Inn a few miles south of the IRC, and kept a public information officer there throughout the day to answer any questions that came up between the regular press conferences.</p><p>The department also kept up with the latest news so that they were prepared for anything.</p><p>“Before each press conference, we had people who were monitoring social media and news accounts to see what information was being printed, and what people were saying,” McBride says, “so we could anticipate before each press conference what the types of questions would be.” </p><p>He adds that the police chief’s Twitter account played a primary role in disseminating information. If law enforcement had new information to release but not enough to justify staging a press conference, they would release it on the social site. “So the media knew they would only get information from us through his Twitter account,” if it wasn’t through a press conference, he notes.</p><p>Finally, McBride says the San Bernardino police worked with the local sheriff’s department, law enforcement from nearby municipalities, and outside agencies, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, to coordinate response efforts. “It was important to have those relationships beforehand with our city partners and other agencies within the city,” McBride notes. “Everyone worked well together, no one got out in front of each other, and we coordinated everything very well.”</p>

Education

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Responding-to-San-Bernardino.aspx2017-05-01T04:00:00ZResponding to San Bernardino
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Industry-News-February-2017.aspx2017-02-01T05:00:00ZIndustry News February 2017
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/The-Role-of-School-Resource-Officers.aspx2017-01-01T05:00:00ZThe Role of School Resource Officers
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Yale-Opens-Doors.aspx2016-12-01T05:00:00ZYale Opens Doors
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/School-of-Threats.aspx2016-11-01T04:00:00ZSchool of Threats
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Lake-Brantley-High-is-School-Security-Funding-Winner.aspx2016-09-11T04:00:00ZLake Brantley High is School Security Funding Winner
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/As-School-Year-Begins,-France-Enhances-Security-at-Educational-Institutions-.aspx2016-09-06T04:00:00ZAs School Year Begins, France Enhances Security at Educational Institutions
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/School-Security-Trends.aspx2016-09-01T04:00:00ZSchool Security Trends
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Scholastic-Surveillance.aspx2016-08-01T04:00:00ZScholastic Surveillance
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Feds-Take-on-Assault.aspx2016-05-01T04:00:00ZFeds Take on Assault
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/U-Penn-Puts-Out-the-Fire.aspx2016-03-01T05:00:00ZU Penn Puts Out the Fire
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Staying-On-Message.aspx2016-02-25T05:00:00ZStaying On Message
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review---The-Handbook-for-School-Safety-and-Security.aspx2016-02-01T05:00:00ZBook Review: The Handbook for School Safety and Security
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/MIT-Launches-Cybersecurity-Professional-Education-Course.aspx2016-01-12T05:00:00ZMIT Launches Cybersecurity Professional Education Course
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Campus-ID-Gets-a-Makeover.aspx2015-11-30T05:00:00ZCampus ID Gets a Makeover
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/To-Ensure-A-Safe-Haven.aspx2015-11-20T05:00:00ZTo Ensure A Safe Haven
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/School-Funding-Winner.aspx2015-09-28T04:00:00ZSchool Funding Winner
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Private-School-Public-Protection.aspx2015-09-17T04:00:00ZPrivate School, Public Protection
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Textbook-Rescue.aspx2015-09-04T04:00:00ZTextbook Rescue
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/August-2015-Industry-News.aspx2015-08-18T04:00:00ZAugust 2015 Industry News

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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Yale-Opens-Doors.aspxYale Opens Doors<p>​When an anonymous person phoned in an active shooter threat to Yale University in November 2013, the central campus in New Haven, Connecticut, went into lockdown mode, and everyone was ordered to shelter in place. </p><p>The FBI and several other law enforcement agencies responded to the situation. No gunman was ever located, but Ronnell Higgins, the university’s chief of police and director of public safety, says the incident provided an opportunity for the campus to evaluate its overall safety and security posture. </p><p>“We looked at what happened versus what we want to happen in the future and, by injecting different technology and processes in, how we will improve the narrative if something similar occurs again,” Higgins says. </p><p>Active shooters are a rare occurrence at any university, including Yale, but there are a number of daily challenges the educational institution faces because it’s home to 11,000 students and a 3,200-member faculty.</p><p>“The Yale University campus is truly woven into the tapestry of the city of New Haven,” he notes, adding that there is a balance between creating a welcoming, open environment and providing security. “We don’t want to turn the place into a fortress, but we have to be ever so cognizant of the environment and our obligation to provide safety.” </p><p>While the public safety department had significantly reduced one of its biggest problems—larceny—over the last five years, Higgins says that campus law enforcement wanted to do more to not only reduce crime, but improve overall efficiencies when it came to access control. </p><p>After the active shooter threat, the vendor for Yale’s access control system began phasing out its technology. So, working with its dedicated in-house IT team, the public safety department decided on three major goals to address in updating the access control system. </p><p>They were: have a single point from which to manage access control; increase security around the movement of students, employees, and visitors; and increase overall efficiencies, including mobilizing credentials and streamlining lockdown procedures.</p><p>To determine which access control technology was most appropriate for Yale, the university hired an outside consultant to evaluate proposals, says Dave Boyd, director of information technology for the public safety department. </p><p>The university interviewed the top vendors and, in the end, chose AMAG’s Symmetry SR Solution. Implementation began in July 2014 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017; currently, more than two-thirds of the university’s buildings have been upgraded.  </p><p>The AMAG solution appealed to Yale for several reasons, including the fact that installers would not have to rip out and replace existing hardware. Instead, Symmetry uses the university’s existing wiring infrastructure, allowing it to keep the door card readers installed around its 450 buildings. </p><p>“That was one of the big selling points, because we have some buildings here that are over 200 years old with three-foot stone walls,” Boyd says. “So not having to do a rip and replace saved us millions of dollars.”</p><p>AMAG Symmetry also allows the university to manage access control for all buildings from a single interface. Eventually, Boyd says, Yale can tie in video and alarms to the system, as well as assign threat levels that will lock down certain parts of campus in the event of an incident. </p><p>AMAG Technology’s professional services team wrote an interface to Yale’s internal database to pull data into Symmetry from the university’s access control database. While Yale had to replace a computer board component within all of its existing door readers, students and faculty kept the same cards–microchips inside them were updated electronically. The credentials the faculty and students use to open the door are the same cards they use for identification, dining, and vending. </p><p>“We didn’t have to change the cards—the end users don’t even know this project is happening, just the building managers,” Boyd says.</p><p>Boyd adds that throughout the installation process, card holders would occasionally find that they did not have proper access levels after the switchover. To remedy this, the IT team went building by building to make sure the right people had access to the right places by comparing its old access control database spreadsheets to the new system. </p><p>AMAG also sent a dedicated engineer to remain on site during the first two years of the installation process. “So even issues that looked like they could have been bigger were resolved very quickly because he was on site,” Boyd adds.</p><p>Having its own public safety IT team allows Yale to tailor its technological solutions to the security needs of the campus, Higgins says. </p><p>“When Dave [Boyd] and his team are a part of our meetings, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with IT at the time, they’re thinking about how they can support us through technology, through the software, through systems like AMAG,” Higgins explains. </p><p>Boyd echoes the partnership’s effectiveness. “Most of the time we’ll sit back and just listen and try to find their pain points. Then we try to come up with technology solutions to take care of those pain points.” </p><p>He adds that the Symmetry Threat Level Manager will be activated at the end of the installation, providing even more security on campus. This feature can remotely lock down certain buildings based on the given emergency. With this feature, “it’s the push of a button” to lock down the campus, Boyd says.  </p><p>Higgins emphasizes that access control is a cornerstone for responding to any emergency. “Responding agencies may not be familiar with our architecture or the layout,” he says. “So when we think about access control…it’s incumbent on us to think about access control in emergency situations for people who aren’t familiar with our campus.” ​</p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/School-Security-Trends.aspxSchool Security Trends<p>School security often involves response tools, from mass notification to surveillance to reporting. However, experts note that trends are moving away from technology as a single solution to prevention-based programs centered around information sharing, all-hazards training, and public-private partnerships.</p><p>Preventing a tragedy often starts with getting critical information into the right hands. </p><p>Take the case of two teens in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, who were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder in October 2015. The two had plans to phone in a bomb threat to their school, then shoot people as they evacuated, CNN reported. A school resource officer discovered that one of the boys had threatened violence on the Internet, and the resulting investigation uncovered the plot. </p><p>In December 2015, an anonymous tip was sent to a Denver school district’s “Text-a-Tip” threat reporting hotline. Based on that information, two 16-year-old girls were found with plans to commit a mass killing at Mountain Vista High School. They were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, reported Reuters. </p><p>These stories, and many like them, have a common thread throughout: critical information was reported and acted upon in a timely manner, stopping any plans to commit harm. While some security experts do not like to classify tragedies as preventable, they say there are key threat indicators that pointed to the mass shootings and other attacks before they occurred. If communities, schools, and law enforcement work together to identify and connect these dots, future threats could be stopped. </p><p><em>Security Management </em>speaks to experts about their experience conducting threat assessments in schools and communities. ​</p><h4>Connecting the Dots</h4><p>After the December 2012 Sandy Hook shooting that killed 20 elementary-age children and six educators, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy created a 16-member panel to review policies pertaining to school safety, gun-violence prevention, and mental health. The panel recommended in a 277-page report that all schools create safety committees that include police, first responders, administrators, and custodians. The report also urged each school to take an “all-hazards” approach to safety and security training for faculty, staff, and students. </p><p>Furthermore, the panel recommended that schools form threat assessment teams that “gather information from multiple sources in response to indications that a student, colleague, or other person’s behavior has raised alarms.” The report cites the U.S. Secret Service’s behavioral threat assessment model, which has been adopted for educational institutions, the workplace, and military settings. </p><p>“Once a team has identified someone who appears to be on a pathway to violence, the team ideally becomes a resource connecting the troubled child, adolescent, or adult to the help they need to address their underlying problems,” states the report, which goes on to say that such multidisciplinary teams can conduct risk assessments when questionable behaviors arise. “These would not only identify students at risk for committing violence, but also serve as a resource for children and families facing multiple stressors.” ​</p><h4>Partnerships</h4><p>As outlined in the Sandy Hook report, it is critical for organizations, schools, and communities to take an all-hazards approach to assessing and preparing for threats. If there is a dedicated platform or channel where they know they can report pertinent information, those dots can be connected in a meaningful way to prevent tragedy. </p><p>Two security experts share best practices with Security Management based on their experiences with threat assessments. These programs were bolstered by building partnerships with law enforcement and the community. </p><p>Working with stakeholders. Sometimes a threat assessment reveals an obvious problem that needs fixing, while other issues are uncovered only by working and communicating with stakeholders. Such was the case for school security professional Gary Sigrist, Jr., CEO and president at Safeguard Risk Solutions. </p><p>He tells Security Management that when he first started working at the South-Western City School district in Ohio, there were some obvious changes that needed to be made. “We had building principals who told their staff members they weren’t allowed to call 911 [in an emergency], that they have to call the office first,” he says. “We changed that.” </p><p>There was one building principal who told the cafeteria cooks that if there was a fire in the kitchen, not to pull the fire alarm until they had notified him first. “I brought the fire marshal in, and we had a conversation about that,” he notes. </p><p>Sigrist explains that working with law enforcement isn’t always a seamless process; sometimes schools and police in his district differed on their vision for a safe and secure environment. </p><p>“It’s not that the police were wrong, it’s just that some of their goals and objectives didn’t sync with the goals and objectives of the school,” according to Sigrist. But establishing regular meetings with law enforcement and other first responders was key to successful collaboration. “The police would say, ‘we think you should do this,’ and the school could say, ‘that’s not a bad idea, but let’s look at it from the point of view of the school,’” he notes. “Fire drills became better because we involved the fire department in the planning of our drills, where our command posts would be, and how we were going to check students in.” </p><p>He adds that first responder collaboration should go beyond just police and fire; schools rely on medical professionals when faced with health epidemics, for example. “When the Avian Flu and H1N1 sprang into effect, we worked with our county and state boards of health, and were able to develop a pandemic plan,” he says. “We had those subject matter experts.” </p><p>Over the course of his career at SouthWestern City Schools, Sigrist twice helped secure the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Grant, in 2008 and 2010, from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These funds helped him establish many safety programs around the district. “Those are things people say, ‘wow, you must be a wonderful person to be able to get all of this done’–no, we had grant money,” he says. “It’s amazing what you can do with half a million dollars in grant money, and also the right support from the superintendents.” </p><p>No matter how prepared a school is for an emergency, those plans are truly put to the test when disaster strikes. Such was the case for South-Western City Schools when an explosion occurred at an elementary school. </p><p>“We had a building in a rural area, and the water table shifted, causing methane gas to build up in the basement. When it built up to a certain level with the right oxygen mix, there was an explosion,” Sigrist says. A custodian was injured, but everyone was able to evacuate the building safely as they had in many drills before. </p><p>The staff had been trained on how to function as a crisis team that was three members deep. Because the principal was not present at the time of the explosion, the building secretary assumed the role of incident commander, safely evacuating everyone from the building. “And it’s just evacuation training,” he says. “We never trained her on what to do when a building blew up.” </p><p>There were some key takeaways from the event that the district saw as areas of improvement. “Did we have lessons learned? Yes,” says Sigrist. “This happened almost right at dismissal, and we had school buses parked right in front of the building. Well–they didn’t move.” </p><p>These buses prevented fire trucks and other emergency vehicles from pulling right up to the scene. “And so one of our lessons learned is, if you have an incident, how are the buses going to pull out of the parking lot so the fire equipment can get in?” </p><p>Hometown security. Schools are a major focal point of the community, but they are not the only one. Societies are also made up of private businesses whose security is paramount to the overall environment of safety. Marianna Perry, CPP, a security consultant with Loss Prevention and Safety Management, LLC, explains that because about 85 percent of critical infrastructure in the United States is privately owned, “it makes sense that these businesses and communities partner with law enforcement to address problems.”  </p><p>Perry has more than 20 years of experience in conducting threat assessments for private businesses, as well as communities, including school districts. She recounts examples of how these reviews helped strengthen those localities, businesses, and law enforcement alike. </p><p>While Perry was the director of the National Crime Prevention Institute, there was a particular community with high crime rates, homelessness, and drug problems, as well as health-related issues. “There were abandoned properties, rental properties in disrepair, homes that had been foreclosed,” she says. “We were looking for a solution to help fix this community.” </p><p>Perry helped form a team of key stake­­holders and partners, including law en­forcement, a local university, security consultants, area churches, and the local health department. The public housing authority was also a major partner, as well as some local residents and business representatives. Initially, everyone came together for a week-long training program. The goal was to involve all partners in helping to develop strategies to improve the overall condition of the neighborhood, which in turn would help prevent crime. She says that much of the training was centered on crime prevention through environmental de­sign (CPTED), which predicates that the immediate environment can be designed in such a way that it deters criminal activity.  </p><p>She adds that the training wasn’t just focused only on preventing crime, but on several aspects of the community. “The goal was to improve the overall quality of life for everyone who lived or worked in that neighborhood,” says Perry. </p><p>The training also helped the partners learn to speak a common language. “We had all of these different people from different professional backgrounds and business cultures, and we needed them all on the same page,” she says. “They needed to be able to communicate with each other.” </p><p>A critical outcome of the training program, she says, was facilitating interaction among stakeholders, as well as developing and building trust. “It was a really successful partnership, and a lot of good was done for that community because everyone worked together to achieve common goals.” </p><p>Businesses also benefit from such assessments. Perry recently conducted a security assessment for one organization that was located in an area with one of the highest violent crime rates in the city. “Management was very concerned about the safety of their employees,” she notes. </p><p>During the assessment, Perry recommended that the company install additional cameras on the perimeter of their property for added surveillance and employee safety. The company could also share camera footage with law enforcement by tying their camera system into the citywide surveillance program. Perry worked with a local vendor to install IP cameras to cover a 10-block area. A control center operator would then monitor the cameras, and if he or she saw suspicious activity, either a security officer would be dispatched to respond, or 911 would be called. “I think people are now embracing the concept of public-private partnerships because they’re beginning to realize that they work,” Perry says.</p><p>Training. Preventing and detecting threats, while challenging, is possible when stakeholders share critical information. Having a centralized place for reporting such information is key, as well as training students, employees, and the community on how to use those platforms. </p><p>However, if the threat remains unde­tected or cannot be stopped, organiza­tions should conduct all-hazards training that covers a range of possible scenarios to ensure minimal damage and loss of life, says Kenneth Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services. </p><p>“Active shooter is one concern, certainly, but it’s just that–one concern,” he says. “There’s a much greater likelihood that school employers are going to deal with a noncustodial parent issue multiple times during a school year than that they will ever deal­­—during their entire career working in the school—with an active shooter incident.” </p><p>Sigrist adds that having a laser-like focus on active shooter training can be a drawback for schools, because they lose sight of issues that have a greater likelihood of occurring. </p><p>“I asked one of my clients at a Head Start school how many times they have had a drunk parent show up to pick up a child, and they said, ‘it happens all the time,’” he says. “We still teach active shooter, but by teaching how to respond in an all-hazards approach, they will know how to take action.” </p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/School-of-Threats.aspxSchool of Threats<p>​In the fall of 2015, a university sophomore we will call Sophia spoke with her college’s Title IX coordinator, called Mr. Jones for the purposes of this article. Sophia told Jones that her former boyfriend—a sophomore at the same college—sexually assaulted her in 2014.</p><p>The two broke up over the summer, but Sophia thought her ex-boyfriend was stalking her now that they were both back on campus for the fall semester.</p><p>Jones told Sophia about her various options, including reporting the stalking to campus police or to local law enforcement, or filing a complaint with the college’s Student Conduct Office, which would then investigate and take action against her ex-boyfriend if necessary. </p><p>Jones also gave Sophia a list of support resources that she could access, including the college’s counseling center, women’s centers, and community-based resources for victims of domestic violence.</p><p>Sophia said she did not want to file a report with campus police or local law enforcement, but she did want to file a report with the Student Conduct Office.</p><p>Two days after filing her report, Sophia alerted Jones that she thought her ex-boyfriend was escalating his efforts to stalk her. She was afraid of what he might do to retaliate against her, and feared for her physical safety.</p><p>When Sophia mentioned that she feared for her own safety, Jones offered another option: he could alert the college’s threat assessment team to address the situation from a safety perspective. </p><p>The team could evaluate whether there was any threat posed to Sophia by her ex-boyfriend and could intervene—as necessary—to reduce the risk to Sophia while her report was investigated by the Student Conduct Office.  </p><p>As higher education and security professionals are well aware, the last few years have seen many changes in the law and guidance addressing sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking issues on college and university campuses. </p><p>Colleges and universities in the United States are now obligated to undertake certain actions when they become aware of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking at their institutions under new requirements from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) through Title IX guidance and enforcement and amendments to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) made by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA).</p><p>Those requirements include taking swift action to investigate allegations of such incidents; notifying victims about the availability of protective and support resources; and notifying victims of their options to report the incident to law enforcement or to the institution’s conduct office or to opt not to report.</p><p>With the recent focus on the need for colleges and universities to aggressively pursue reports of sexual assault, interpersonal violence, and stalking, there has been little public discussion about the need to assess and maintain victim safety and campus safety while these investigations, called Title IX or Clery investigations, are undertaken. However, that is beginning to change.</p><p>Several prominent organizations and task forces have released reports on campus safety and violence prevention since the campus shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007 and at Northern Illinois University in 2008. All of these reports recommended that colleges and universities create threat assessment teams as a key measure to prevent violence before it occurs. </p><p>The threat assessment model is now advocated for use in higher education settings by entities at the federal and state levels, as well as various international and national associations. These include the U.S. Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services; the National Association of Attorneys General; the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators; and several state task forces.</p><p>In 2008, Virginia and Illinois both passed laws requiring colleges and universities to establish threat assessment teams. These laws apply to public higher education institutions in Virginia and to all higher education institutions in Illinois. In 2014, Connecticut also began requiring colleges and universities to be trained in campus threat assessment.</p><p>Additionally, in 2010 the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved a national standard for higher education risk analysis that is designed to identify, evaluate, and mitigate risks at higher education institutions and to help colleges and universities better allocate resources and prepare for emergencies.</p><p>“It is recommended that threat assessment teams be put into place on campus to help identify potential persons of concern and gather and analyze information regarding the potential threat posed by an individual(s),” the standard says.</p><p>Behavioral threat assessment is now recognized as a best practice for preventing campus violence and workplace violence at colleges and universities. Using threat assessment procedures can help enhance safety in Title IX and Clery cases in which there is a potential for ongoing interpersonal violence or stalking behavior, victims fear for their safety, or threats have been made before or after a victim files a police report or student conduct complaint.</p><p>In cases such as these, however, adhering to provisions of Title IX and the Clery Act is not enough; steps should be taken to identify and assess whether any threats are posed to those involved in these investigations and to manage the situation to reduce any such risk.​</p><h4>Integrating Threat Assessments</h4><p>In an environment in which victims, advocates, and public servants commonly express concerns about campus response to sexual violence, colleges and universities must also assess threats while investigating these incidents and publishing crime statistics—as required by federal law.</p><p>To best address these safety concerns, the institution’s threat assessment team or behavioral intervention team should be involved to run a parallel threat assessment investigation that is separate from, but coordinated with, the institution’s Clery investigation.</p><p>This level of coordination requires some effort, but is vital and can be done using five steps to maintain victim safety and campus security during investigations.</p><p>Create a threat assessment team. Institutions should have a threat assessment team—or a similar multidisciplinary team that is trained in behavioral threat assessment and threat management. </p><p>The best threat assessment teams include representatives from student affairs, academic affairs, the counseling center, human resources, campus police or security, and ad hoc members who might be needed for particular cases, such as veterans’ services for cases involving veterans or international programs members for cases involving international students.</p><p>Once the team is assembled, it should be trained in behavioral threat assessment, have the authority to engage in threat assessment on behalf of the institution, have procedures to guide activities of the team, and have access to case management and support resources—on campus and in the community—to intervene where needed.</p><p>Having training in best practice procedures is critical to ensuring that the team is equipped to objectively assess any risk or threat posed, and to take appropriate steps to intervene to reduce risk and manage the situation going forward.</p><p>Many institutions have established threat assessment teams, but only a subset of them have ever been trained in threat assessment procedures. One institution, whose threat assessment team lacked qualified training, did not know how to handle a stalking case that was escalating and decided to call in outside expertise to reduce the prospect that the situation could turn violent. </p><p>If a team has not received training in threat assessment procedures, the group should make sure to check the qualifications of potential training vendors before hiring them.</p><p>Understand Clery requirements. All personnel involved in threat assessment and safety should know that the DOE has issued guidance on requirements that institutions face under Title IX and preamble comments on regulations issued to implement the VAWA revisions to the Clery Act.</p><p>Under these laws, colleges and universities must respond swiftly to reports of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking—not just those involving a threat assessment investigation. </p><p>This response must include providing information on confidential sources for victims to talk to and explaining reporting options to victims. The response must also include information on disciplinary and law enforcement reporting options should victims decide to report an incident to law enforcement or to the student conduct office.</p><p>In addition to responding to reports of sexual violence, colleges and universities must also actively work to prevent such crimes, including providing institutionwide training for students and employees.</p><p>Some colleges and universities are implementing mandated online training courses for students, as well as for faculty and staff, to raise awareness about sexual violence and the importance of bystander intervention. </p><p>But prevention efforts can also involve outreach from an institution’s threat assessment team to encourage people to report potentially dangerous situations and behaviors to the team when they become aware of them, so quick action can be taken to mitigate and reduce risk. </p><p>To address these wide-ranging duties and the increasing number of reports, institutions should have dedicated investigators to handle their Clery-related cases and responsibilities. In many cases, institutions will need to hire or retain these individuals.</p><p><strong>Alert the team.</strong> Once an institution has a threat assessment team, those taking reports from victims must learn when to alert the team. </p><p>Although reports of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are often referred to a Title IX coordinator or investigator, there may be ongoing safety concerns that should be addressed simultaneously and more broadly by a threat assessment team. If a report is made to an employee not designated as a “confidential employee,” that person can freely alert the threat assessment team. </p><p>Confidential employees include employees who are licensed medical, clinical, or mental-health professionals when acting in their professional role to provide services to a patient who is a university student. This category also includes university employees providing administrative, operational, and related support for healthcare providers performing these services.</p><p>Confidential employees are generally prohibited from reporting information to a college or university’s Title IX coordinator without permission from the individual who disclosed the information to them.</p><p>A confidential employee who receives a report should provide information about the threat assessment team to the victim or reporter, as well as provide options for reporting the incident and for safety planning. </p><p>If a risk is deemed sufficiently imminent to permit disclosure of privileged communications, the confidential employee could make other disclosures as necessary to promote safety. When victims better understand what a threat assessment team can do to enhance safety, they may be willing to have their situation reported to the team.</p><p><strong>Get legal advice.</strong> Teams should seek advice from the institution’s legal counsel on how to address situations in which a victim requests confidentiality or anonymity. </p><p>In 2014, the DOE’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) published guidance on Title IX issues that clarified a 2011 document on the limits of confidentiality in certain situations.</p><p>For instance, the OCR recognized that institutions may not be able to respect requests for confidentiality where circumstances suggest there is an increased risk of further violence. The OCR included examples of these circumstances, such as multiple complaints about that person, a history of violence and arrests, multiple perpetrators, patterns of perpetration, use of weapons, and threats to commit further violence.</p><p>Train and practice, together. Personnel involved in Clery cases and those involved in threat assessment matters can learn a great deal about each other’s methods, resources, and obligations when they spend time together—preferably not just on active cases.</p><p>Finding opportunities to train together in tabletop exercises, and to train each other on their respective jurisdictions and areas of expertise, will enhance coordination and cooperation when faced with a high-risk case.</p><p>One threat assessment team, which had received training on trauma-informed investigations from its institution’s Title IX coordinator, increased its awareness about the effects of trauma. As a result, the team changed its approach to interviews with complainants of stalking. </p><p>Since the training, the team now chooses—where possible—to give its questions to Title IX investigators to ask of a complainant to avoid subjecting the individual to yet another interview on the same matter. This process is designed to minimize stress and additional trauma. ​</p><h4>Outcomes </h4><p>In Sophia’s case, involving the college’s threat assessment team helped the institution get a more complete picture of her safety and any potential danger she faced as the investigation unfolded. </p><p>One of the first options the team suggested was that either the Student Conduct Office or the campus police department issue a “no-contact order.” A no-contact order prohibits contact—whether in person, by phone, email, text, social media, or through a third party—between individuals at an institution where the college or university feels it is necessary to impose such a boundary. </p><p>No-contact orders are often issued by student conduct officers when they are investigating potential violations of a student code of conduct. The orders do not require the same level of evidence required to obtain a court-issued restraining order or protective order—but they carry significant consequences if violated. </p><p>For instance, some institutions can take immediate disciplinary and protective action if an order is violated, such as immediate suspension or barring the individual from campus.</p><p>This is a tool administered solely by the college and did not require Sophia to file a police report, even if the campus police department issued the order.</p><p>Following best practice threat assessment procedures, the threat assessment team in Sophia’s case gathered information from multiple sources about her ex-boyfriend and his recent behaviors and communications. </p><p>The team was able to corroborate Sophia’s accounts of his stalking behavior and discovered a series of disturbing posts he made on social media that suggested he was experiencing increasing desperation, and may have been suicidal. </p><p>A member of the team conducted a conversation with the ex-boyfriend, confirming his growing level of desperation. The team then assessed that Sophia’s case required inter­vention to reduce risk.</p><p>First, the team’s representative from the campus police department asked campus police to immediately transport Sophia’s ex-boyfriend to the college’s counseling center for a safety assessment to determine if he was suicidal. </p><p>At the same time, the team’s representative from the counseling center notified personnel at the center about the transport and provided information to the mental health provider who was conducting the assessment, so the provider had appropriate background information to include in the assessment.</p><p>In addition, the team asked the college’s Residential Life Office if it could provide Sophia with emergency alternate housing so her ex-boyfriend would not know where she was living. Campus police also provided Sophia with safety planning and offered to escort her around campus, if she wanted that service. </p><p>Sophia’s ex-boyfriend followed the no-contact order and did not have any contact with Sophia throughout the student conduct process. The team remained involved in monitoring the case as it proceeded and in conducting a follow-up assessment after her ex-boyfriend was sanctioned by the college.</p><p>The team was actively involved in the case until it assessed that Sophia’s ex-boyfriend no longer posed a threat to her—which was several months after the conclusion of the investigation.</p><p>Finding ways to improve communication and coordinate efforts between Title IX/Clery personnel and threat assessment teams can help security protect students. A multidisciplinary approach to training, assessing threats, and responding to incident reports can help ensure a safer campus for all. </p><p>--<br></p><p><em>Marisa R. Randazzo, Ph.D., is a managing partner of SIGMA Threat Management Associates and former chief research psychologist for the U.S. Secret Service. Jeffrey J. Nolan, JD, is a partner at Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C. Dorian Van Horn is a senior consultant with SIGMA Threat Management Associates and former division chief of the Threat Management Unit for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. ​ ​</em></p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465