In response to the public need for an effective strategy for reducing the risk of school violence, Critical Intervention Services launched the Guardian SafeSchool Program® in 2013 as a comprehensive and effective security program model for protecting students against violence. The uniquely integrated and comprehensive nature of the program has drawn national-level recognition from the criminal justice and school safety community.
Since its inception, the Guardian SafeSchool Program® has been adopted in its full format at a diverse range of Florida schools. CIS consultants have also aided schools and universities around the nation in improving their security and emergency readiness in alignment with Guardian SafeSchool Program® principles.
Some of the consulting services provided by CIS include:
As a Guardian SafeSchool client, our expert consultants can assist your institution in designing and implementing a comprehensive security and emergency management strategy that addresses the nuances unique to your campus environment.
Most school security assessment and improvement projects encompass three phases:
In Phase One, Security Program Assessment, Guardian SafeSchool consultants focus on auditing the school’s existing facilities, operations, physical security measures, security and crisis procedures, and program implementation. The objective of the audit is to assess the effectiveness of the current program, evaluate existing systems and crisis management preparations, and identify potential issues of concern. The focus in Phase One is on risk evaluation and security program design, physical security performance, procedural evaluation, forseeability issues and liability mitigation.
During Phase Two, Improvement of Security and Emergency Procedures, Guardian SafeSchool consultants begin working in cooperation with designated staff to rewrite procedures as necessary and reformat emergency procedures manuals. Activities undertaken in this phase include restructuring crisis teams and task teams, creating new redundancy, designing improved structures for reporting emergencies, redesigning policies and procedures for better performance and organization, and preparing specifications to aid in physical security and infrastructure improvements.
In Phase Three, Staff and Faculty Training, after the school’s essential policies and procedures are complete and approved, Guardian SafeSchool consultants conduct live training classes to instruct faculty on critical protocols and a separate session to instruct crisis team members on more complex details of the improved procedures (e.g., reunification, improved bomb threat plan, etc.).
As spotlighted by the US Secret Service’s Safe School Initiative in 2002, most acts of school violence by juvenile perpetrators are precipitated by communications or behavior that, if properly recognized and assessed, can indicate a potential threat. In these circumstances, effective recognition of potential threats can facilitate intervention before crisis occurs.
To assist schools in recognizing and responding to threatening situations before they evolve, CIS can assist in the development of a School Threat Assessment System (STAS). Establishing the program involves authoring the STAS plan and support media, organizing and training the STAS team members, and providing expert support on implementation.
Establishing proper security design criteria and specifications in the earliest phases of new school design will maximize your investment and provide the best opportunity to avoid mistakes that are often difficult, if not impossible to correct later.
When engaged as consultants in the early phases of new school design, CIS assists architects and facility planners using the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and performance-based physical protection to aid architects in designing effective physical security while simultaneously creating an aesthetic environment that promotes learning and positive community interaction.
In response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown Public Schools turned to CIS in 2014 to assist in training the district’s new security force using the Guardian SafeSchool model.
CIS consultants can assist in maximizing the capabilities of your on-site security and School Resource Officers (SROs) by training and certifying them as Guardian SafeSchool Protection Officers. As opposed to most police SRO programs, the Guardian SafeSchool Protection Officer course places significant emphasis on interpersonal communications and network building within the school community to proactively identify and de-escalate problems and reinforce positive school climate and culture. This distinction is highlighted well in the 2013 peer review report by John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Guardian SafeSchool Program® Risk Mgmt Strategy
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