Oswego (WSYR-TV) – From college campuses to elementary schools, staff are launching a new effort to enforce safety and security following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary.
In Oswego on Friday, some of the nation’s top threat assessment experts gave educators tips to identify troubled teens before they become violent.
Col. Paul Walter served in Iraq and Afghanistan – he’s very familiar with threats.
"We want to be predictive in where they are, what they're going to do, how they're going to effect us, so that we can preempt that,” Walter said.
He says it’s no different in schools – you just need to know what to look out for.
"In the military, we call it indications and warnings. So it's looking at a population and seeing changes in patterns,” Walter said.
When it comes to students, certain changes in behavior, the way they communicate or even their attire, can send up a red flag. It's why experts say communication is key among students, staff, parents, and local law enforcement.
Presenters also discussed how to effectively assess and manage a potential threat and, in a worst case scenario, how someone might plan an attack.
"We're going to listen to what's happening in that room between the agencies and find out what some of our holes are then try to fill them,” said Oswego County BOCES District Superintendent Christopher Todd.
The Secret Service wrote the "Threat Assessment in Schools Guide" in 2002 after the shootings in Columbine.
At that time, the agency noted that threatening situations might include those launched over the Internet.