BCSO forms School Threat Assessment Team

Sheriff Steve Lawson
Posted 11/11/18

During the campaign, I made school safety a priority. I maintain that we cannot sit back and be reactive when it comes to the safety of our children, teachers, and administrators. We must be proactive.

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BCSO forms School Threat Assessment Team

Posted

During the campaign, I made school safety a priority. I maintain that we cannot sit back and be reactive when it comes to the safety of our children, teachers, and administrators. We must be proactive.

This week I was proud to unveil our School Threat Assessment Team, tasked with evaluating potential threats to our schools and student safety. This team of multi-disciplinary professionals have committed their time to ensuring we work towards safer schools in our community. I am grateful we’ve been able to turn a campaign promise into reality.

The purpose of the School Threat Assessment Team is to establish behavioral threat assessment and management processes, including the assessment of risk factors and warning signs while identifying concerning behavior, assessing potential threats of violence involving weapons or threats of serious bodily injury, with follow up investigations and interventions designed to prevent or mitigate school violence before it occurs. Additionally, the team will seek to identify potential student threats to commit violent acts, determine the seriousness of the threat, and develop a plan of intervention that will protect potential victims from harm.

The team will present a multi-disciplinary approach with representatives from the school system, mental health professionals, school resource officers, other law enforcement investigative personnel, District Attorney General’s Office, juvenile court officials, and members of the community trained in threat assessment to ensure varying points of view are represented to fully assess every threat or potential threat to our schools, students, and faculty members.

The goals of this team could not be accomplished without support from the Bradley County Schools system. I am eager to work closely with members of the school board, director Dr. Linda Cash, and other members of the school administration team.

Information on potential threats will be collected via the STOPit app recently announced by the school system, calls to the Bradley County Sheriff's Office, and reports from school administrators.

The team will have established protocols and procedures that will be followed for each assessment in order to allow for a thorough assessment of any potential threats. The team will meet whenever a threat to the schools has been communicated or a situation arises that should merit immediate attention. The team will also meet on a regular basis to engage in discussions with team members to ensure a thorough and comprehensive assessment has been made of any potential threats or asses concerning behavior involving students who may present a potential threat.

The work of this team will be invaluable as we continue to face more difficult challenges in our culture, and in our community. I look forward to seeing their hard work pay off as we seek to provide a safe environment for our children and grandchildren to learn.

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