Threat Assessment

Colorado School Safety Resource Center Created Threat Assessment Materials

The CSSRC trains any school teams in the Colorado Threat Assessment & Management Protocol (CTAMP). Simply call the Center for your no-cost training. 303.239.4435.

  • Essentials of School Threat Assessment: Preventing Targeted School Violence

    • Created in November 2011 and updated in June 2021.

    • This document is intended as guidance to Colorado schools and was created with collaboration from the Threat Assessment Work Group of the Colorado School Safety Resource Center. Consultation with district legal counsel and local law enforcement is recommended. Additional consultation and template formats may also be obtained from the Colorado School Safety Resource Center, Department of Public Safety.

    • This guide includes:

      • Elements of a School Threat Assessment Process

      • The Cycle of Threat Assessment

      • Threat Assessment Inquiry Steps

      • Secret Service Eleven Key Questions

      • Selected Threat Assessment Resources

  • CSSRC Threat Assessment Possible Warning Signs and Risk Factors

    • The Colorado School Safety Resource Center offers this document only as a companion to a full threat assessment training. This document in no way replaces a fully trained team and a training for other school staff in threat assessment and making referrals

  • CSSRC Summary of Secret Service 11 Key Questions

    • Main questions used to guide the threat assessment process in schools

  • Sample School Staff Referral Guide (.DOCX).

Other Threat Assessment Materials

New Resources 

NEW -- New Video on Averting Targeted School Violence

  • The National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) has released "a video which highlights the findings and implications of its research on school violence prevention based upon the study Averting Targeted School Violence: A U.S. Secret Service Analysis of Plots Against Schools (2021)."
  • Watch the video here.


National Threat Evaluation and Reporting (NTER) Program 3rd Quarterly Bulletin Q2 of FY22

Dewey Cornell, Ph.D.

  • Threat Assessment in College Settings

    • Written by Dewey Cornell, Ph.D. and published in Change magazine in 2010.

    • Although it is important for colleges to have a well-designed plan for first-responders, a comprehensive approach to campus safety should not be limited to security measures, warning systems, or crisis-response plans that are designed to react to violence. Threat assessment is a form of violence prevention that should be undertaken well before a gunman appears in the parking lot. The history of many school shootings reveals that the attack was preceded by threatening statements and behavior that aroused the concern of others weeks or months in advance.

  • The Virginia Model for Student Threat Assessment

    • Written by Dewey Cornell, Ph.D. and presented at the Confronting Violence in Our Schools: Planning, Response, and Recovery - A PERI Symposium in 2007.

    • This brief paper discusses the rationale for conducting threat assessments and how to apply the research-based threat assessment model created by the University of Virginia.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

  • NEW -- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule: A Guide for Law Enforcement

    • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule provides Federal privacy protections for individually identifiable health information, called protected health information or PHI, held by most health care providers and health plans and their business associates. The HIPAA Privacy Rule sets out how and with whom PHI may be shared. The Privacy Rule also gives individuals certain rights regarding their health information, such as the rights to access or request corrections to their information.

  • Mass Victimization: Promising Avenues for Prevention (Published - Dec 2015)

    • This document is focused on identifying strategies that contribute to preventing, not predicting, incidents of targeted violence that result in mass casualty events. It is the result of a multi-agency collaborative conference held at Quantico, Virginia, in August of 2013.

  • Making Prevention A Reality (2017)

    • Created to give law enforcement and other first responders tools to prevent, rather than simply respond, to targeted violence. Created based on the input of academic researchers, mental health practitioners' and law enforcement from across the United States.

  • Pre-Attack Behaviors of Active Shooters (Published - June, 2018)

    • Guide for parents, friends, teachers, employers, law enforcement and mental health professionals, and anyone who suspects that a person is moving towards an act of violence. Designed to provide guidance on recognizing the concrete and observable pre-attack behaviors of many active shooters.

Higher Education Mental Health Alliance (HEMHA)

  • Balancing Safety and Support on Campus: A Guide for Campus Teams

    • Courtesy of the Higher Education Mental Health Alliance (HEMHA).

    • This guide summarizes the existing literature on campus teams and suggests some of the key issues that should be considered when creating or managing a campus team. The guide may be particularly useful to new teams considering various options for how they should be organized and led, but should also be helpful to existing teams interested in assessing their current functions, operations, or emphases.

National Center for Education Statistics

National Police Foundation

  • Averted and Completed School Attacks - a Comparison from the National Police Foundation

    • In this report, 51 completed and 51 averted incidents of school violence, drawn from the Averted School Violence (ASV) database, were analyzed to help further our understanding of averted and completed school attacks. The report also seeks to provide important lessons about how school violence can be prevented. The data are drawn from the public domain as well as from law enforcement, school officials, and others entering reports into the database. 

University of Alaska Anchorage

U.S. Department of Justice

  • Campus Threat Assessment Case Studies: A Training Tool for Investigation, Evaluation & Intervention

    • Published December 2012 by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)U.S. Department of Justice

    • This guide is a training tool to assist campus threat assessment teams with self-guided opportunities to develop, refine, and enhance their behavioral threat assessment processes. Its design will help teams ensure they have a working knowledge of the nature and process of violence, how to identify persons at risk, reporting and assessing concerns, and resolving situations through compassionate and effective approaches.

  • School Resource Officers: Averted School Violence Special Report

    • This report examines a dozen case studies of targeted violence incidents thwarted by the positive and often heroic actions of classmates, school administrators, SROs, and law enforcement agencies. It also includes recommendations and lessons learned from all cases in the ASV database. In addition, a companion publication entitled, Targeted Violence Averted: College and University Case Studies, presents information on post-secondary averted violence incidents and lessons learned to support student safety.

  • Targeted Violence Averted: College and University Case Studies

    • This report documents representative case studies of incidents in which targeted violence was thwarted by the actions of college students, school administrators and faculty, campus police, and other stakeholders. The examination of these case studies and the lessons learned from them demonstrates progress toward increased safety at colleges and universities. In addition, a companion publication entitled School Resource Officers: Averted School Violence Special Report presents information on K-12 averted violence incidents and the role school resource officers (SRO) assume in supporting student safety.

  • School Safety: Research on Gathering Tips and Addressing Threats

    • New research suggests that schools should have a systematic and coordinated approach in place to gather and process information on threats, respond appropriately, and document the response.

  • Averted School Violence Database - a Preliminary Report

    • In 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and the National Institute of Justice provided funding to the Police Foundation to initiate the Averted School Violence (ASV) project. Through this project, the Police Foundation developed a database, to collect, analyze, and publish incidents of averted and completed acts of school violence that have occurred since the attack on Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado., The database is intended to serve as a resource to law enforcement, school, mental health professionals, and others involved in preventing school violence by sharing ways in which other school attacks across the country have been identified and prevented.

U.S. Department of Education

  • Cybersecurity Considerations for K-12 Schools and School Districts | REMS TA Center.

    • Read this fact sheet for information on threats facing school and school district networks and systems, preparing for threats, and cybersecurity's relation to EOP development and planning.

  • REMS TA Center Emergency Exercises

    • Conducting exercises is an integral part of school safety and is one of the most effective ways to evaluate the EOP and emergency procedures. The more a plan is practiced and tested and the more stakeholders are trained on the plan, the more effectively the whole school community will act before, during, and after an emergency to lessen the impact on life and property. The exercise continuum (e.g. tabletops, simulations, drills) provides opportunities to practice with community partners, validate courses of action, and identify any gaps and weaknesses in the plan. Ideally, education agencies will create an exercise program and related training program, building from a discussion-based exercise, such as a tabletop exercise, up to an operations-based exercise, such as a drill or functional exercise. Not only do exercises promote school and community preparedness, but they also help develop and foster effective relationships with community partners, clarify the roles and responsibilities of school staff and community partners, assess the availability of resources and capabilities to respond to emergencies, and identify areas in need of improvement.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

  • National Threat Evaluation and Reporting (NTER) Office

    • NTER equips homeland security partners with tools and resources to identify and mitigate threats of terrorism and targeted violence to keep the Homeland safe primarily through two lines of effort: the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) and Behavioral Threat Assessment Integration (BTAI).

University of Southern Mississippi

U.S. Secret Service

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and Wisconsin Department of Justice

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