Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,992,085)
Tragically, Coloradoans have suffered a significant number of violent school attacks over the last 23 years. Colorado ranked fourth for the largest number of mass shootings by state from 1982 to 2021, and the Denver community witnessed more targeted school attacks per capita than 24 of America’s largest metropolitan areas. Bullying, physical fights, and fear of safety also remain a problem in Colorado’s high schools, according to CDC’s Youth Behavioral Risk Surveillance System. The National Institute of Justice (2020) and school safety researchers consistently recommend that schools and their law enforcement partners address these challenges using a multi-pronged and integrated approach to violence prevention.
While Colorado has developed and implemented several innovative, evidence-based strategies for violence prevention in schools (e.g., Safe2Tell, CTAMP - Colorado Threat Assessment and Management Protocol), the state continues to lack standardized training for School Resource Officers (SROs) and multidisciplinary school safety teams (e.g., school administrators, law enforcement) and technological systems for sharing information across agency boundaries. The standardization and integration of best practices for school policing, threat assessment, and information sharing prove critical to violence prevention.
This project leverages and builds upon Colorado’s strong foundation in school safety. The Colorado School Safety Resource Center (CSSRC) has assembled a strong multidisciplinary team to execute the project, including trainers with CSSRC and the National Association of School Resources Officers (NASRO), researchers with the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV), and software developers with Navigate360 and Modified Logic. With these partners, CSSRC will pursue the following five project goals: (1) train 150 SROs and 30 SRO supervisors on best practices in school-based law enforcement with NASRO (e.g., adolescent brain development, trauma-informed practices, verbal de-escalation, students with disabilities, CPTED, cultural competence, bias-free policing); (2) train 5 CSSRC trainers on NASRO’s Project Unite: An Integrated Approach to Violence Prevention in Schools (e.g., a positive school climate, MTSS, SARA Model for problem-solving, bystander reporting and response, information sharing, FERPA, and behavioral threat and suicide risk assessment); (3) train 30 multidisciplinary school safety teams (e.g., school administrator, SRO) on Project Unite; (4) train 75 multidisciplinary school safety teams on the Colorado Threat Assessment and Management Protocol and case management software; and (5) develop and pilot Handle With Care notifications within Safe2Tell’s software platform with three school districts. All trainings and materials will be disseminated to U.S. schools through our state and national partners.