IACP Prevention and Response to School Violence

IACP Prevention and Response to School Violence


Over the past two decades, law enforcement officers and their communities have faced rising rates of school violence incidents. It has touched communities of all sizes, demographics and geographic areas of the country such as Parkland, Florida, Santa Fe, Texas, Cleveland, Ohio, Red Lake, Minnesota, Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, and Santee, California. The possibility of school shootings has become an important issue for urban, rural, and suburban communities alike. Law enforcement agencies have sought to prepare for, and respond to, such incidents and, even more importantly, incorporate prevention, threat assessment and early intervention in school safety planning. The IACP has produced a number of training, tools, and resources to help law enforcement and community stakeholders to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from, incidents of school violence. In addition, IACP’s Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center (CRI-TAC) offers no cost, customized solutions to law enforcement agencies throughout the United States on a variety of topic areas, including school safety.

IACP Resources on Prevention and Response to School Violence

Below, in order of most recent to oldest publication date, is a list of training, tools, and resources produced by the IACP and available by link or download.

IACP Model Policy for Active Shooter Situations

The IACP’s Model Policy and accompanying Concepts & Issues Paper on Active Shooter situations provides protocols for assessing the threat and immediately responding during active shooter situations to limit serious injury or loss of life. While the term “active shooter” is used throughout, this policy applies to all situations where there is an active assailant or assailants posing an ongoing deadly threat, to include, but not limited to, those from firearms, vehicles, explosives, and knives. These resources were last updated in 2018 and are available free to the public.

Preparing and Responding to Cyberbullying: Tips for Law Enforcement

This resource, published by the IACP in 2014 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. Hardcopies can be requested by contacting cev@theiacp.org.

Threat Assessment Strategies for Schools & Higher Education Archived Webinar

This 2014 IACP webinar provides an overview of threat assessment programs for both K-12 schools and higher education campus settings, discusses key components for school/campus threat assessment strategies and programs, and discusses resources to meet standards of practice in threat assessment. Conducting in 2015, the webinar’s learning objectives were to:

  • Present an overview of the threat assessment and management process.
  • Discuss policies and procedures around the investigation of threats, including a review of the differences between K-12 and higher education settings.
  • Provide resources for the facilitation of threat prevention and intervention.

To access the webinar, visit: http://elearning-courses.net/iacp

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.

Download Guide

Digital Imaging for Safe Schools: A Public Safety Response to Critical Incidents

In 2008, the IACP, in partnership with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), 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 the best access to hostages and/or the shooter(s) for SWAT response.

Download Guide

Safe Schools Online Training

The IACP, in partnership with OJJDP, developed a series of four online training courses designed to provide guidance for creating or enhancing school safety and crisis response plans. This series, launched in 2013, is targeted at 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
  • Responding to a School Crisis

These online training sessions are based upon IACP/OJJDP’s highly successful classroom training, Partnerships for Safe Schools. To access the online training series, visit: http://elearning-courses.net/iacp

Partnerships for Safe Schools Training Curriculum

The IACP, in partnership with OJJDP, developed a two-day training curriculum to prepare diverse teams of stakeholders to create or strengthen existing safe school plans that enhance the protection and wellbeing of students, school officials, law enforcement, and the community. Through interactive discussions, case study exercises, and customized action planning, participants obtain practical skills they can apply immediately on the job. This course, last updated in 2012, is designed for law enforcement officers, schools officials, and juvenile justice stakeholders assigned to school safety teams. Topics include:

  • Forming a School Safety Team – The material in this course helps participants to determine why a school safety team is necessary, who should be on the team, and what the team will do to promote school safety.
  • Assessing School Safety/Developing Prevention and Intervention Strategies – Participants work in teams to assess the school’s physical environment and assess student needs and risk factors. They will learn prevention and intervention strategies that may be incorporated into their school safety plan and will review criteria for identifying effective community-based programs that may be helpful in ensuring school safety.
  • Lessening the Possibility of, Preparing for, Responding to, and Recovering from a Crisis – Participants will use the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) crisis management model to assist them in examining or revising their current strategies or developing new strategies to mitigate crises and critical incidents. Additionally, participants will acquire or revise knowledge and skills to prepare, respond, and recover from a crisis or critical incident.
  • Analyzing Your Safe School Plan – The knowledge and skills gained during the training will culminate in the development of a new or the revision of an existing school safety plan. Participants review the plan developed during the training or analyze their existing plans for gaps and areas requiring improvement.

To request this classroom training curriculum, including the Facilitators’ Guide, Participant Workbook, and presentation material, please contact Erin Feeley at feeley@theiacp.org or 1-800-THE-IACP ext. 815.

Partnering to Ensure School Safety Brief

This 2008 IACP resource brief for law enforcement explores school safety from a look at crimes in schools, forming safe school teams, threat assessment response, and highlights promising practices in the field related to school safety.

Download Brief

Developing an Anti-Bullying Program: Increasing Safety, Reducing Violence

In this 2006 resource brief, the IACP explores the issue of bullying and highlights promising practices in building effective anti-bullying campaigns.

Download Guide



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