Threat Assessment Team
Mission Statement: The Threat Assessment Team (TAT) is dedicated to a proactive, coordinated and planned identification, prevention, assessment, management and reduction of interpersonal and behavioral threats to the safety and well being of Metropolitan Campus students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Operating Principles: The key purpose of the TAT is to intervene in issues before they evolve into a crisis. The TAT has adopted a “Systems Analysis” working model to addressing campus risks. The Team seeks to identify and prioritize the most significant issues before conducting a causal evaluation and engaging in coordinated intervention strategies and campus education. The TAT will not only address specific threats, but also general risks and identified vulnerabilities.
History: The TAT was formed in the Spring of 2002. The Team has operated in two phases: Phase 1 (May 2002 – May 2007) and Phase 2 (June 2007 – Now). During Phase 1 the TAT focused on specific issues that were determined to pose the most serious risks to the Metropolitan Campus. The Team initiated many programs and many initiatives that addressed the prioritized issues. The shootings at Virginia Tech. in April of 2007 and the subsequent Federal/State reports and recommendations provided an opportunity for the TAT to redefine its objectives and restructure its activities.
TAT Phase 2: (September 2007 to Present)
During Phase 2 the TAT has redefined its objectives to include proactive identification of potential risks, coordinated intervention and response to threatening situations, and planned risk reduction. The Team has been meeting with various campus representatives and outside professionals.
Proactive risk identification is being conducted to recognize those situations or persons that might pose some threat to the Metropolitan Campus. The TAT has been looking at the types, sources (internal or external), and the pre-incident indicators or potential danger. The methods of identification include security assessments, surveys, focus groups, individual interviews and review of incident/crime data.
The TAT proposes to engage in coordinated intervention in the early stages of a problem. Its key purposes are to secure additional information on the subject involving his background, motives and readiness for aggression. The Team has been reviewing practices involving effective communications, referrals, documentation, target & third party support and most incident monitoring & evaluation.
The TAT has been developing strategies to reduce the risks and developing education programs. It has been making recommendations to reduce campus vulnerabilities that can be exploited by those intent on aggression. It has been examining formalized policies and procedures, identifying high risk transfer students, and security measures to limit exposure to potential problems. It has recommended and participated in the development of violence prevention education to help the campus community recognize, defuse and become hardened targets of aggression.
Accomplishments of TAT & Committees
- Created a forum to regularly discuss developing threats and interventions that affect students, faculty and staff at the Metropolitan Campus.
- Developed and distributed Threat Response Protocol.
- Met with campus officials from various buildings and functions to assess their security needs and vulnerabilities.
- Sponsored Safe Spring Break Party.
- Provided funding and participated in Thrive 365 Wellness Fair.
- Secured a grant from Target Stores for Relational Violence Committee initiatives to design, produce and distribute Survival Guides.
- Developed and distributed Relational Violence Survival Guide. This provides information and contact numbers for stalking, sexual assault and dating violence.
- Provided funding and support for the Yellow Dress Presentation. This program addressed sexual assault issues.
- Recommended the hiring of the FDU Substance Abuse Counselor.
- Supplied funding and planning support for Lollanobooza. This is an event that promotes alcohol- free fun for students, faculty, staff & families while pulling together different groups of the college community via a country-fair-like atmosphere with food, music, games, booths, activities & prizes.
- Purchased and installed pamphlet holders in public rest rooms to educate the campus community on key issues relating safety issues and personal wellness.
- Purchased and distributed information on dating violence, date rape, and the warning signs of abusive relationships.
- Conducted focus groups on attitudes toward dating violence.
- Developed a Grant Proposal to secure funding from the U.S. Dept. of Justice to Prevent Violence to Women on Campus.
- Researching issues relating to sexual assault: the extent, attitudes, getting victims to seek help, causal factors, high risk victims & offenders.
- Brainstormed & prioritized key causal FDU factors relating to alcohol abuse.
- Collected statistical information on national & FDU alcohol use & student attitudes.
- Developed anti-alcohol education that was presented to students, organizations and campus leaders.
- Distributed anti-alcohol information.
- Conducted focus group interviews with student groups relating to alcohol use.
- Purchased and installed alcohol awareness posters and glass enclosed bulletin boards.
- Created and distributed a faculty survey involving aggressive classroom behaviors and support needs. The data will be used to develop training for new faculty & adjuncts.
- Supported & coordinated interventions involving high risk individuals.
- Provided funding for Mental Health Programs.
- Purchased books, pamphlets and other education materials regarding stress, family issues and student wellness.
- Supported development of awareness/programs involving cultural perceptions & violence and alliance building.
- Recommended installation of stops in Northpointe windows so windows could be opened only 6-8 inches.
- Established partnerships and project coordination with criminal justice, mental health, sexual assault, domestic violence agencies/professionals in the university community.
- Recommended extended hours for the cantina in Knight Club.
- Made recommendations to Human Resources involving violence, threats and domestic violence training. Submitted contributions to the Workplace Violence WEB Course.
- Supplied funding for T-Shirts for Safe Spring Break Event.
- Sponsored counselor to attend training for National Organization for Victims’ Assistance Seminar.
- Developed and distributed Sexual Assault Assessment Survey.
- Established Global Partners Peer Mentoring Program.
- Created and distributed Respect Zone poster.
- Purchased dating violence & sexual assault videos and established a video library available to faculty, staff and students.
- Duplicated and distributed brochures on stalking, domestic violence, sexual assault and recovery.
- Promoted and supported: “Take Back the Night”
- Developed partnerships with professional, educational institutions throughout the State of New Jersey.
- Developed a handout for students: “How to Help a Distressed Friend”.
- Distributed the pamphlets: “How to Approach a Professor for Help” and “How to Refer a Distressed Student” (for faculty and staff).
- Purchased and distributed: “College of the Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What to Do About It”.
- Made Recommendations & Proposals regarding building access control, installation of Panic Buttons, safety equipment & issues, Security Camera Installation,
- Secured Webcast Training involving Threat Assessment.
- Reviewed protocols involving transfer students who may have judicial issues.
- Reviewed policies concerning social events.
- Arranged meeting with outside consultant regarding Threat Assessment issues.
- Made recommendations to enhance the operation of the Campus Behavioral Intervention Team.
- Reviewed policies & practices concerning social events.
- Reviewed protocols involving transfer students regarding judicial issues.
TAT Phase 1: (May 2002 to May 2007)
The purpose of the TAT was to identify, prioritize and take action on those issues that posed the greatest risk to the campus community. The goal was to prevent the tragedy and not simply be reactive to a any particular crisis.
The TAT utilized a multidisciplinary team approach which provided the necessary expertise and support to address the complexity, anxiety, confusion and volatility of campus threats. By securing representation from various departments and functions, the TAT was able to achieve a high level of coordination and collaboration. The TAT during this phase was comprised of representatives from the Office of the Provost, Public Safety, Dean of Students, Human Resources, Psychological Services, Athletics, Student Advisement, Risk Management, Student Counseling, Career Services, International Students, and faculty from The Schools of Criminal Justice, Nursing and Psychology.
A total of 54 individuals contributed to the TAT or one its Committees.
Four Committees were created to meet regularly to research, assess, and make recommendations regarding the issues prioritized by the TAT. The four established were the Alcohol Prevention, Relationship Violence, Threatening Behaviors and Mental Health Committees. Each was chaired by a TAT member who reported on committee activities during the regularly scheduled TAT meetings.
- The Alcohol Prevention Committee recommended strategies that addressed factors relating to alcohol abuse and improving the campus culture and student socialization.
- The Relationship Violence Committee promoted awareness and prevention of sexual assault, dating violence and stalking.
- The Threatening Behaviors Committee developed programs dealing with threat education, cultural awareness / global partners and violence and threat management training.
- The Mental Health Committee developed educational programs and distributed information on trends in campus mental health.