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SLO DA Seeks Federal funding to increase capacity of threat assessment capabilities in multiple Counties in Central California.

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
San Luis Obispo
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $995,227)

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office is pleased to submit a joint proposal with Tulare County and Holifield Psychological Services, Inc. San Luis Obispo County serves over 33,000 students with 83 public schools and Tulare County serves over 103,000 students with over 189 public schools. San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office and its partners seek federal funding to reduce school violence through the BJA STOP School Violence Program under category 2.  

            School districts in both counties do have threat assessment teams or protocols in place, many are using a broad array of threat assessment approaches some evidenced-based, while others have pieced together from various sources. Due to the rural nature of both counties and size of the schools, some schools do not have threat assessment approaches or teams at all. San Luis Obispo County has recognized the value for and is committed to spearheading the creation of a unitary model for behavioral threat assessment and management (BTAM) in the prevention of an active shooter attack. School safety and violence prevention is best when shared collectively with the development of community resources for education, training, and community systems design and implementation.

            In designing a unitary BTAM model with a regional suppository for threat management that involves multiple districts and community agencies, it is posited that such a model will increase community engagement (one community-one model), make training more consistent, better streamline students into mental health or school supports instead of suspension, expulsion, or arrest, hopefully diverting them from a pathway towards violence. Drawing inspiration from the Salem-Keizer/Cascade Threat Assessment System, this project will utilize most of the conceptual community design, training activities, community partnerships, and system implementation.

            Goal one of this project is to develop an evidence-based coaching approach in BTAM principles using a field-tested protocol. To achieve goal one, partners will work with John Van Dreal Consulting, LLC to develop case reviews and coaching for level 1 and level 2 threat assessment teams. Goal two is a community goal to design, engage, and collaborate with community partners to implement a regional/county BTAM system. Goal three is an individual training goal to educate and engage school/community mental health professionals in BTAM principles. The content for these presentations will be from provider’s viewpoint in identifying concerning behaviors in therapy, triaging a client’s dangerous behaviors to others in sessions, disclosure requirements (HIPAA), and working with threat assessment teams.

Date Created: September 29, 2022