Prevention and Response to School Violence

IACP membership across the US have been facing rising school violence for the past decade or more. Recent events like the Amish school shooting in Pennsylvania raise awareness of this continuing national problem. We have assembled a set of materials that address school violence and youth crime prevention. We present these resources in one location on our website so that police leaders can become familiar with all of them and use them in an effective manner. Simply click on each bulleted resource to download detailed information on each. These resources are:

  • Preparing and Responding to Cyberbullying: Tips for Law Enforcement: This resource, published by IACP in collaboration with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, provides guidance on cyberbullying prevention, preparation, response, and investigation to law enforcement administrators and first responders. The resource is available at no cost, and electronic copies can be downloaded in English or Spanish here. Hard copies of the resource can be requested by contacting
  • Safe Schools Online Training. The IACP has developed an introductory level training series, consisting of four courses designed to provide guidance for creating or enhancing school safety and crisis response plans. This series is targeted to law enforcement, school officials, and allied stakeholders tasked with ensuring school safety, and is available at no cost. The self-paced courses can be taken separately or combined as an entire training series. The four training courses include: Forming Your Safe School Planning Team, Assessing School Safety, Preparing for a School Crisis, and Responding to a School Crisis. These online trainings are based upon IACP/OJJDP’s highly successful classroom training, Partnerships for Safe Schools. To register, visit:
  • Community Involvement in Campus Safety: This 11-minute video was developed by the IACP in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The video highlights the breadth and scope of volunteer efforts in college and university law enforcement. The video features programs at California State University San Bernardino, the University of Alaska – Anchorage, and Lehigh University. Contact:
  • Guide for Preventing and Responding to School Violence: 2nd Edition. This guide, updated in 2009, addresses both prevention and intervention from a systemic view, clarifying the roles of the school, the community, families, law enforcement and the justice system and how these groups can work together effectively to respond to the problem. Contact: Nancy Kolb
  • NYS Best Practices for School Safety and Security.  In response to school violence incidents in New York State, the New York State Department of Homeland Security, in collaboration with the New York State Police, the University of the State of New York, and the State Emergency Management Office, joined together to create a Best Practices for School Safety and Security. This report draws on the expertise of these four agencies to provide critical prevention and response strategies for all incidents of school related violence. Contact: John Firman
  • Digital Imaging for Safe Schools: A Public Safety Response to Critical Incidents. In response to the several past and recent shootings within schools, IACP, in partnership with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), has created a guide to the use of 360 degree digital cameras to create CDs that contain digital images of the interior of any school- allowing responding officers to determine best access to hostages and/or the shooter(s) for SWAT response.Contact: John Firman
  • Partnerships for Safe School Training. This training, delivered in partnership with the Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention (OJJDP), focuses on improving school safety: course topics include principles of school safety, model school safety programs, and critical incident management. Contact:
  • Developing an Anti-Bullying Program: Increasing Safety, Reducing Violence. This Promising Practices Executive Brief is the first in a series produced in collaboration with Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention (OJJDP). These periodic briefs deliver information to law enforcement and justice officials and address some of the gaps in contemporary juvenile justice policy and practices. Each brief highlights a promising program that addresses an important juvenile justice issue. The next in this series will highlight Promising Practices in School Safety and is expected to be published in coming months. Contact:
  • Engaging Youth Through Volunteerism: This 10 minute video was developed by the IACP's Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program, a partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The video introduces the benefits of law enforcement programs that engage youth and the role that youth and adult volunteers can play in offering such programs, including recreation activities, youth police academies, law enforcement exploring, and internships. Contact:
  • Guidelines for Building Partnerships that Protect Our Children. A collaborative effort among the IACP, the National Children's Alliance (NCA) and the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), and funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the Guidelines offer a strategy build around the creation of Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) where youth receive comprehensive social, legal and enforcement services at one location. Contact: John Firman
  • Youth Violence in America - Summit Report. Final recommendations from the IACP summit on youth violence. Report outlines a set of strategies to help law enforcement respond to gang violence, school violence, and how to deal effectively with both youthful offenders and youthful victims. Contact: John Firman
  • Family Violence in America- Summit Report. Final recommendations from the IACP summit on family violence. Report outlines a set of strategies to help law enforcement responds to all types of family violence including partner violence, child abuse and elderly abuse. Contact: John Firman
  • Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). Grant funded through the Bureau of Justice, the IACP holds regional symposia and site assistance trainings in support of PSN. These trainings for state, local and federal law enforcement officers and prosecutors, focus on firearms intelligence-led investigations, perfecting and prosecuting firearms cases and firearms trafficking and diversion techniques. In 2005, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced his plan to incorporate anti-gang initiatives into the PSN program. Currently, the IACP is working with our federal partners to integrate gang coursework into the training curricula. For more information on IACP resources regarding gangs and firearms as well as upcoming training events in your area, please use the link above to access the Gun Violence Reduction website. Contact:
  • Protecting Civil Rights: A Leadership Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement. The effectiveness of the police depends on the trust and confidence of the community. If civil rights of individuals or groups within a community are compromised, public trust and confidence in the police are diminished. Without trust, police become less legitimate in the eyes of the public. Compromised relations with the community result in strained relations and in less effective law enforcement. With funding from and collaboration with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), a component of the US Department of Justice, IACP produced this guide as a comprehensive overview of the civil rights issues and challenges that face today’s law enforcement leaders. The guide describes the processes by which agencies with alleged “pattern or practice” civil rights violations are investigated and monitored. It offers lessons learned, resources, and strategies for protecting and promoting civil rights across the varied communities’ police agencies serve. Contact: John Firman.

Websites of Interest: