Are You Using Interviews Effectively to Assess Campus Safety?

You would be suprised to find out what they reveal.

Effective campus safety assessments can combine observation, formal evaluation of tangible factors, mental simulations, research on local risk factors and structured interviews. Each of these approaches can be incredibly revealing. 

During an interview in an upscale New England school district some years ago, the security director asked a kindergarten teacher if she had any safety concerns.  She replied that she did not have any concerns because she had just resigned from her position.

She explained that she thought she wanted to be a teacher and had gone to  college for five years to be able to do so. She told us that she had changed her mind after a series of incidents where parents had cursed out staff at the school, including her. When she told us that she had found a job at a bank where she had been assured that the police would be called and charges would be filed for such conduct, she revealed a significant problem in her school and district. 

Interviews can be conducted in a variety of ways to improve our ability to see and seize opportunities for improvement in the way we protect staff, students, visitors, information and campus property.

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About the Author


Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a global non profit campus safety center. During his 30 year campus safety career, Michael has served as a university police officer, corporal, sergeant and lieutenant. He served as a school system police chief for ten years before being appointed the lead expert for the nation's largest state government K-20 school safety center. The author of 25 books on school safety, his work has taken him to Central America, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia, South Africa and the Middle East. Michael welcomes comments, questions or requests for clarification at [email protected]. Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety magazine.

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