Threat Assessment Teams (TATs) play a very important role in prevention efforts and making organizations and communities safer and are even more critical today due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has created more stressors and even more at-risk individuals for TATs to address. TATs have existed for a very long time in schools, higher education institutions, organizations, and communities, but increasing violence, suicides, and other incidents create concerns and questions on what is missing. Threat Assessment Teams: A Brief History TATs are often one of the main topics of discussion after horrific tragedies. For example, after the Columbine Massacre in April 1999 federal entities likeRead More →

Stage 6: Ongoing Awareness Do you remember everything from each of the previous emails and the overview of 20+ years of research? Do you remember all the compliance requirements with Pandemic Phases, OSHA, HIPAA, FERPA, ANSI, and other state and industry-specific guidelines? Do you know what is working and not working? Do you know about the most recent trends involving indicators and at-risk individuals in your organization (schools, higher education, health care, financial, retail, etc.) and community? Prevention is not a one-and-done effort, it requires an ongoing effort.  Failures & challenges at this stage When you don’t know what you need to know and whatRead More →

Stage 5: Preventing Stage If you stay with what you have today, will your people feel safer, will you have improved trust and reduced fear? Will your organization’s and community’s preventing efforts and results be better? Will you be able to keep up with the increasing challenges, more and more at-risk individuals, and escalating consequences associated with incidents and tragedies? Based on the increasing numbers of at-risk individuals, incidents, and tragedies, logically and emotionally, most people would say no they cannot afford to stay with what they have today. More specifically, if you can’t achieve Stages 1-4 with your current “solutions” there’s almost no wayRead More →

Stage 4: Intervening and Monitoring Stage Most everyone has heard of the “Pathway to Violence” where an individual may have a grievance and then begin to express thoughts and fantasies about violence and then plan, prepare, and execute their plan of attack. Failures & challenges at this stage The Columbine High School massacre is one of numerous tragedies where common gaps prevented the team(s) from intervening and monitoring and ultimately preventing. If the pieces of the puzzle had been collected, assessed, and connected more effectively, the team(s) would have been in a better position to intervene and monitor the at-risk individuals and prevent this horribleRead More →

Stage 3: Connecting the Dots Stage Do you remember what the 9-11 Commission Report said? National intelligence is still organized around the collection disciplines of the home agencies, not the joint mission. The importance of integrated, all source analysis cannot be overstated. Without it, it is not possible to “connect the dots”. No one component holds all the relevant information.  The biggest impediment to all source analysis – to a greater likelihood of connecting the dots – is the human or systemic resistance to sharing information. The 9-11 terrorist attacks from nearly 20 years ago had more than enough indicators before the attacks, and theRead More →

Stage 2: Assessing the Dots Stage Do you know what the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said about preventing gun violence? The importance of detecting and addressing concerning behaviors, thoughts, or statements cannot be overstated. In fact, preventing violence by detecting and addressing these red flags is more effective than any physical security measure. Collecting, assessing, and addressing indicators (concerning behaviors, thoughts, statements, suspicious activities, etc.) is more effective than any physical security measure (cameras, alarms, locks, metal detectors, etc.). Let that sink in for a minute. Failures & challenges at this stage The Assessing the Dots Stage requires more than laws requiring schools andRead More →

6 Stages of Preventing Introduction Do you know what the US Secret Service found while studying 41 school shootings? All attackers exhibited concerning behaviors. Most elicited concern from others, and most communicated their intent to attack.  Yes you read that right, all 41 shooters exhibited concerning behaviors (indicators) BEFORE they attacked, so all organization and community leaders need to be asking and understanding how and why 41 different schools and communities failed in their intervention and prevention responsibilities… and if they are vulnerable to failing too? For 20+ years Rick Shaw has been doing just that, researching hundreds and hundreds of different incidents and tragedies.Read More →