The CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program was peer reviewed by John Jay College of Criminal Justice as a model for national best practices in May 2014.
Over the past few decades, horrific acts of mass violence have occurred in schools ranging in size and complexity from State universities and urban public schools, to a private school on an Indian reservation and a one-room rural Amish schoolhouse. As witnessed time and again, no school is immune to the risk of targeted violence.
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 already drawn national-level interest and recognition from the criminal justice and school safety community and has been peer reviewed by John Jay College of Criminal Justice as a model for national best practices in May 2014.
Click here to view the John Jay College of Criminal Justice report on the CIS School Protection Officer program.
The Guardian SafeSchool Program is designed as a holistic, integrated program that employs a multi-layered strategy to reduce risk by preventing acts of violence and mitigating the potential impact of events through effective preparation and response.
This strategy is described in the diagram below.
At the beginning of a new school protection project, the CIS planning team (in partnership with the school administration) conducts an audit of the school, its culture and operations, and current security measures. Based on this initial assessment, the CIS planning team outlines a proposed comprehensive security strategy for the school that aims at preventing incidents of violence and reducing the overall impact of crisis events.
As part of the assessment process, the CIS planning team evaluates the school’s current security procedures and crisis manual for issues of concern, both in terms of security performance as well as liability. If the school engages CIS as a client, CIS then works with the school to rewrite its procedures and school crisis manual as necessary.
As part of the initial assessment, the CIS planning team evaluates the design of physical security and identifies key areas for improvement. To ensure effectiveness of system design, CIS uses an analytic approach to evaluation and improvement of physical security based on the Estimate of Adversary Sequence Interruption (EASI) model developed by Sandia National Laboratories. Click here for more information about the CIS approach to physical security and schools.
CIS School Protection Officers are experienced CIS officers that have been specially selected and trained for the mission of providing protection of schools against criminal threats, including threats of targeted violence. In addition to their protective functions, CIS School Protection Officers use the Community & Character Based Protection Initiative (CCBPI) methodology as the basis for preventative interaction, problem identification and resolution, early threat intervention, and establishment/reinforcement of a safe school climate.
A critical part of effective response during crises is reliable and rapid alert communications and response coordination. As part of the Guardian SafeSchool Program, client schools have full emergency communications support from the CIS 24-hour Operations Center located at the CIS Headquarters in Largo, Florida. Click here for information about the CIS Operations Center and our unique communications systems for schools.
If a crisis event occurs, in addition to the assigned School Protection Officers, CIS is uniquely equipped to provide a variety of assistance in managing the aftermath of crisis events including rapid deployment of support personnel to aid miscellaneous functions (traffic control, reunification assistance, etc.), assistance in fielding calls from the news media and parents, logistical assistance, and providing an off-site location for emergency management activities.
Many acts of school violence 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 and implementation of a management plan before crisis occurs. The CIS Student Threat Assessment and Management System (C-STAMS) was created to provide a standardized methodology for conducting threat assessments in schools in support of the Guardian SafeSchool Program. As part of every new Guardian SafeSchool Program, CIS designs a school-specific Student Threat Assessment System (based on the C-STAMS methodology) and partners with the school on implementation of the program.
As new programs are implemented (and at the beginning of all new school years), CIS provides faculty training on threat awareness/reporting and school crisis procedures. Additional specialized training courses are also administered for senior school administrators and threat assessment team members. As part of the implementation and evaluation process, CIS aids in designing the drills for lockdowns and bomb threats and evaluating performance of faculty, CIS SPOs, and CIS Operations personnel.
For more information about the CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program and optional solutions for protecting schools, please contact:
Vice President of Operations
Critical Intervention Services
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