New Ohio School Safety Center to Combat Violence, Self-Harm
The new department consists of seven employees, including intelligence analysts who can scan social media and websites for school threats.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed an executive order Wednesday to create the Ohio School Safety Center as a division of Ohio Homeland Security.
The new department, which will be funded through existing budget allocations, began its work Thursday. It consists of seven state employees, including intelligence analysts who scan social media and websites for threats toward schools or potential self-harm behavior, reports WBNS.
The analysts will determine the seriousness of the potential threats and share information with local schools and law enforcement.
Additionally, the center employees will be responsible for reviewing school safety plans, monitoring a tip line, training schools’ threat-assessment teams and sharing school safety best practices and training opportunities through its website and an annual summit.
“Their job every single day will be to be a resource for our schools, for our administrators and for our teachers throughout the state of Ohio,” said Governor DeWine. “This will be a place where anybody in education can go to at any time and see what training is upcoming in the state of Ohio that has to do with school safety.”
DeWine also created the Ohio School Safety Working Group, made up of public safety and education experts that will meet to discuss current issues in school safety and develop an annual state school safety report.
The center is part of DeWine’s 17-point plan to reduce gun violence and increase mental health treatment following the August mass shooting in Dayton, where nine people were killed and many others were injured.
Former classmates of the gunman said he was suspended during his junior year at Bellbrook High School after a hit list was found in the bathroom. He had been previously suspended for showing up at school with a list of students he wanted to sexually assault.
DeWine emphasized the importance of the public’s help in making the center a success.
Read More Articles Like This… With A FREE Subscription
Campus Safety magazine is another great resource for public safety, security and emergency management professionals. It covers all aspects of campus safety, including access control, video surveillance, mass notification and security staff practices. Whether you work in K-12, higher ed, a hospital or corporation, Campus Safety magazine is here to help you do your job better!