July 3, 2019

Soft Targets Resources
Download the guide.
Security of Soft Targets and Crowded Places
Soft targets and crowded places are typically defined as locations or environments that are easily accessible, attract large numbers of people on a predictable or semi-predictable basis, and may be vulnerable to attacks using simple tactics and readily available weapons. This includes schools, parks, restaurants, shopping centers, special event venues, and transportation systems. These types of environments are increasingly appealing to terrorists and other extremist actors because of their relative accessibility and the large number of potential targets. The challenge of securing these environments and reducing risk is complicated by the common use of simple tactics and less sophisticated attacks.
The Infrastructure Security Division (ISD), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), is committed to improving the security and resilience of soft targets by providing relevant tools, training, and programs to both the public and private sectors as well as the general public. CISA recently released the Security of Soft Targets and Crowded Places Resource Guide (PDF), a catalog of ISD soft target resources covering such topics as preparing and responding to active assailants, protecting against unmanned aircraft systems, and sport and entertainment venue credentialing and security. Section 1 consists of a resource matrix that is hyperlinked to resources throughout the guide, section 2 includes resource descriptions and links, and section 3 provides agency/division/program phone and email contacts along with website links and a brief description of information they provide.
The Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) is DHS's official system for trusted sharing of Sensitive But Unclassified information between federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, international, and private sector partners. HSIN access is based on nomination and acceptance into one or more HSIN communities. Many applicants are sworn police officers; however, non-sworn campus safety officers who are sponsored by their local municipal police department may be eligible for access to specific communities. Learn more in our " Have You Applied for HSIN Access? " article. Some of the federal products available via HSIN-Intel include:
  • I&A, FBI, NCTC, "(U//FOUO) Continued Interest in Targeting Faith-Based Communities in the Homeland," February 21, 2019
  • DHS, FBI, "(U//FOUO) Lethal Shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California," November 8, 2018
  • DHS, FBI, "(U//FOUO) Joint Intelligence Bulletin: Lethal Shooting at Jewish Synagogue in Pittsburgh," October 28, 2018
  • DHS I&A, "(U//FOUO) Intelligence Note: Church Attack in France Highlights Threat to Faith-Based Religious and Cultural Institutions," August 5, 2016
In order to support soft targets and crowded places in mitigating potential risks associated with the dynamic threat environment, DHS has developed a number of additional resources focused on improving security and implementing protective measures. Visit their web page for more information.

Campus Resilience Program
New Campus Resilience Program Exercise Starter Kits Available
Last month, the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Academic Engagement (OAE) released four new Exercise Starter Kits (ESKs) as part of the  Campus Resilience (CR) Program. The new starter kits focus on the following scenarios: improvised explosive device, hazardous material release, tornado, and earthquake.
ESKs are self-conducted tabletop exercises (TTX) that include a set of scalable tools to help K-12 schools and institutions of higher education (IHEs) test and validate existing emergency plans, protocols, and procedures while also strengthening preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities. The new ESKs are specifically designed for IHEs and each one includes a set of planning documents that contain pre-populated exercise content:
  • An exercise conduct briefing for presentation during the TTX
  • A situation manual to provide background information on the TTX, scenario content, as well as discussion questions for participants
  • A facilitator guide for assisting facilitators in delivering the TTX
  • A participant feedback form template for players to provide candid feedback on the TTX
  • An after-action report template for summarizing key strength and areas for improvement following the TTX
Additional ESKs are available for active shooter (for K-12 and IHEs); cyberbreaches (IHEs only); and hurricanes (IHEs only). The materials within each ESK have been designed in a modular format and can be completed over a single session or completed in individual modules based on each school's or IHE's availability.
The kits are complementary to the CR Program's TTX series, which offers the  NTTXRTTX, and  LTTX events annually. All ESKs are available at no charge to members of the academic community. Members of any IHE are asked to fill out this request form and indicate which ESKs they are interested in receiving. For additional information or questions, please contact the OAE.

Professional Development Opportunities

Title: Campus Safety Conference East
Organization: Campus Safety
Dates: August 6-8, 2019
Location: Charlotte, NC
Fee: Registration fee
Title: Enhanced Sports and Special Events Incident Management
Organization: Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
Dates and Locations:
  • July 30 - August 1, 2019 in Orlando, FL
  • September 3-5, 2019 in Jacksonville, FL
  • September 17-19, 2019 in Philadelphia, PA
Fee: Free
Title: Community Resilience
Organization: National Disaster Preparedness Training Center
Date: October 21, 2019
Location: Rohnert Park, CA
Fee: Free

For additional trainings and events, access our searchable online calendar

Virtual Professional Development
Through our Virtual Professional Development initiative, you can access free, online educational opportunities.
Free Archived Webinars
View on-demand, closed captioned webinar recordings on a variety of campus safety topics.
Emerging Issues Forum Reports
Download, print, and share findings from critical issues forums of campus public safety leaders, subject matter experts, and practitioners.

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This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.
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