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The methodology used by the VPA in assisting schools and colleges to enhance their safety, violence prevention, and crisis response strategies is aligned with emergency management planning practices at national, state, and local levels. These efforts, including planning, are now informed by Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 8, which was signed by President Obama in March 2011 and describes the nation’s approach to preparedness. This directive reflects the lessons learned from high impact incidents like terrorist attacks, natural disasters, school violence, and mass casualty attacks (active shooters).


The VPA does not rely on the weight of statistics to encourage and assist clients in implementing best practice strategies. Crises and emergencies, especially those involving children and youth are highly emotionally charged, thus substantially increasing the impact and recovery of a school and its community. Even if the occurrence of this specific type of incident is low (for example, an active shooter), we still recommend doing all that is feasible to prevent these kinds of high impact incidents from occurring. We follow and encourage a strategy of, “hope for the best but plan and train for the worst.”


Our violence prevention strategies include five mission areas, as defined by the PPD-8.


Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery


Prevention means the capabilities necessary to avoid, deter, or stop an imminent crime or threatened or actual mass casualty incident. Prevention is the action a school or college will take to prevent a threatened or actual incident from occurring.


Protection means the capabilities to secure a school or campus against acts of violence, accidents, and natural disasters. Protection focuses on ongoing actions that protect all of those involved with the organization and its property from a threat or hazard.


Mitigation means the capabilities necessary to eliminate or reduce the loss of life and property damage by lessening the impact of an event or emergency and reducing the likelihood that threats and hazards will occur.


Response means the capabilities necessary to stabilize an emergency or crisis once it has already happened or is certain to happen in an unpreventable way; to establish a safe and secure environment, save lives and property, and facilitate to recovery.


Recovery means the capabilities necessary for a school to achieve operational continuity during and after a crisis or emergency and to restore itself to its pre-incident environment.


We can offer you expertise with:

Threat Assessment and Threat Management

School and Campus Security & Safety Training

Inappropriate Pursuit (Stalking and Harassment)

Expert Witness & Litigation Consultation

Cleary Compliance Assessment & Training

Title IX & Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Assessment and Recommendations

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