School is back in session and it is imperative that we keep our children safe and secure.
Your school, whether public or private, should have policies and procedures in place to detect aberrant and dysfunctional behaviors that are indicators for a propensity for violence.
A threat assessment team, trained in targeted violence prevention and active threat response, should be in place to detect signs that indicate a student, or students, or school district employees could be moving into a high-risk potential to act out.
According to the recent studies conducted by the United States Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center, there is no exact profile of an attacker. However, it is important to detect communications that are either verbalized, written or that appear on social media that discuss violent acts or making threats of violence. It is important to pay attention to what a person says, and what they do to evaluate whether they are moving toward an action step. Targeted violence is not an event but a process wherein the perpetrator narrows their focus and sends messages they are preparing to act out.
Schools not only need a threat assessment program, but they need a Security Risk Assessment to review vulnerabilities and make specific recommendations on best practices to keep our children safe. The latest technologies such as perimeter cameras that are monitored, classroom lockdown procedures, and active threat response training should be initiated.
A thorough risk assessment should address the three circles of security, the outer perimeter where the property line begins, the middle perimeter such as parking lots, and the inner perimeter where classes are held.
Lastly, we must be honest with our children, teachers and administrators, and train them in detecting at risk individuals and then communicating what they perceive as a potential at risk person or persons.
If previous school violence events have taught us anything it is that the perpetrators sent messages they were moving toward a violent act, but the message was not acted on because of denial, or naiveté, or fear of getting involved.
Talon provides corporate training in “Targeted Violence Prevention & Active Threat Response”, as well as services in risk assessment and threat assessments.
Talon also has an agreement with Leatherback Gear, to provide bullet proof backpacks. For more information please go to our website at
and click on the link to Leatherback Gear.
Let’s keep our children safe by being pro active.
United States Secret Service-Retired