Going Beyond the Focus on Active Shooter Drills

Colleges and universities must adopt prevention programs that identify mental health issues and intervene before they escalate.

Active shooters continue to plague college campuses, both large and small, at an alarming rate, and administrators are getting grilled about the programs they currently have in place that are intended to prevent mass shootings. As a result, some professors, students and administrators are asking whether schools need to do more to deliver potentially life-saving training, information and messages to those on campus.

Although active shooter response training is valuable, there remains an important and often unsung component to campus security: prevention programs that identify and mitigate mental health issues before they explode into violence.

Behavior Intervention Teams (BIT) or a Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) can provide counseling, guidance and resources to students, faculty and staff who are in crisis. These teams can also aggregate disparate information on at-risk individuals before tragedy strikes.

Another important group of public safety partners that should be included in a campus’ detection and intervention efforts are the campus security officers. By properly documenting all incidents, including inappropriate or concerning behavior, they can help identify potential problems and intervene before a tragedy occurs.

This article provides three best practices that will make intervention a priority on your campus.