School leaders, health and safety teams, law enforcement, and community leaders gathered on July 17th to learn and discuss tactics and strategies to prevent school shootings in the region. The effort led by DCMO and ONC BOCES aims to increase collaboration among agencies and stakeholders to increase communications and share efforts to protect schools. Keynote speaker, Joe Testani, served for 32 years at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and co-founded Squad 9 LLC, a consulting firm devoted to helping organizations develop threat assessment and management. In his presentation, Testani identified the background and behavioral issues connected to mass shootings and highlighted the need to adopt a prevention attitude capable of minimizing the threats.
According to Testani, a violent attack has a pathway. The attack begins with personal grief on the perpetrator's part. He explained how the process moves from their grievance to violent ideation, how to manifest their feelings, and how they research and plan the attack. The pathway to a crime includes preparation for the next stage, which includes acquiring guns and planning for the attack. The following step in this process is called the breach, a stage where vigilance and alertness is important. The strategies developed by Squad 9 LLC help organizations prepare to identify, monitor and mitigate issues at different stages of the process.
Over 100 individuals attended the summit. The annual Regional School Safety Summit gathering kicks off the process of planning and communications for many of the organizations who join the event. According to Jason Lawrence, this event opens doors for more collaborations and teamwork.