Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,000,000)
The Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) will utilize STOP funding to hire three Behavior Health Licensed Therapists (BHLT) to be assigned to its Threat Management Division (TMD) to work closely with detectives when a threat is identified and to collaborate with SROs. The addition of the BHLTs will create a behavioral threat assessment/management process to bridge the gaps experienced within the current Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) assessment plan and practices in place. The addition of BHLTs will also provide consistency in intervention, identification of effective, evidence-based treatment modalities to mitigate the threat, referrals to identified treatment providers, and ongoing monitoring of students of concern.
The TMD and BHLTs will assess and evaluate students rated medium and/or high by BCPS BAT Teams, students of concern identified by SROs, students committing repeated violence on campus, students who have made threats, students reported through a central reporting mechanism (CrimeStoppers, FortifyFL, Saferwatch, etc.), and students who have brought a weapon on campus. BSO SRO’s will notify TMD of students of concern and forward any reports involving repeat violence or weapons on campus. TMD detectives and BHLTs will determine the appropriate response.
As a secondary safety net, BHLTs will utilize a community systems approach to threat management, particularly with those student’s whose threats were determined to be Very Serious Substantive. Very Serious Substantive Threats are often made by students who are involved with different systems such as multiple law enforcement jurisdictions, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and Court systems, and the Child Welfare System. BHLTs will develop a Multidisciplinary Team comprised of partners from, but not limited to, SROs, DJJ, Baker Act receiving facilities, mental health treatment providers and community stakeholders. This MDT will meet when necessary to address the complex needs of these high-risk students.
BSO will send BHLTs to the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals annual conference which consists of four days of intensive training to become a Certified Threat Manager. BSO will send SROs to the National Association for School Resource Officers and the Florida Association for School Resource Officers annual conferences. BSO intends to have the BHLTs and SROs complete the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG). CSTAG is an evidence-based model for schools to use in conducting threat assessments of students.