Release Date: March 2, 2017
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo will host the 14th annual Safe Schools Initiative Seminar, Advanced School Threat Assessment Training, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Thursday, March 23, in the Center for the Arts on the UB North Campus. The event is free, but registration is required.
The goal of this year’s seminar is to help participants enhance their threat assessment program and gain experience using best-practice school threat assessment procedures.
The program will include an opening presentation by the FBI that will look at threat prevention and intervention in addressing violent extremism, and will address online propaganda used by violent-extremist groups to specifically target youth. The program will review the reasons U.S.-based individuals may travel to foreign conflicts, along with the need for partnerships between law enforcement and communities to counter this trend.
SIGMA Threat Management Associates, a national security firm specializing in behavioral threat assessment and threat management and violence prevention services, will review best-practice procedures for school threat assessment and conduct a group tabletop exercise on how to handle a threat case from start to finish using the best-practice procedures. Discussion will also address recent creepy clown sightings and how to use the threat assessment process to address these incidents.
SIGMA is a co-author of the federal model for school threat assessment developed by the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of Education, which has been used as a foundation for successful threat assessment programs in schools, colleges and corporations across the country, and is recommended in the federal emergency planning guides for schools, colleges and universities.
“Ensuring school safety is critical in order for learning to take place,” said Amanda Nickerson, director of UB’s Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention. “The topics of this year’s event are timely and build on the past success of the program.”
For the second year in a row, the FBI joins the annual Safe Schools Seminar’s founding program sponsors, The United States Secret Service, Buffalo Field Office; the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of New York; and UB, along with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, in presenting this year’s seminar.
The program is open to all school personnel who deal with school or building safety issues, including grade school, middle school, high school and district faculty, staff (administrators, counselors, psychologists, school resource officers, etc.) and school board members; college/university administrators, police officers and other law enforcement officials; first responders; elected officials; and school transportation professionals.
“The Safe Schools Initiative Seminar has proven invaluable in developing the necessary partnerships to address the issue of targeted violence in our schools,” said Lewis Robinson, special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Buffalo Field Office. “This seminar brings together all stakeholders in a collaborative effort to plan for the prevention of and response to an incident of targeted violence in our schools. The annual Safe School Seminar further strengthens the vital bond between all participants in the effort to keep Western New York schools, colleges and university campuses safe for everyone.”
The Utica National Insurance Group, which has provided vital support for the seminar since 2009, is the exclusive seminar sponsor. Community partners are the New York State Police, Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation and UB’s Western New York Educational Service Council.
For more information and to register, visit https://www.ubevents.org/event/safeschools2017