Cayuga County Sheriff Brian Schenck is working with county school districts and mental health officials to create a threat assessment team, with the goal of heading off potential school shooting incidents.
As part of that effort, Road Patrol Deputies Nikki Loveless and Brian Kelly recently underwent state-sponsored hostage negotiator training.
From the US Education Department:
“A threat assessment team is a group of officials that convene to identify, evaluate, and address threats or potential threats to school security. Threat assessment teams review incidents of threatening behavior by students (current and former), parents, school employees, or other individuals. Some schools may need assistance in determining whether a health or safety emergency exists in order to know whether a disclosure may be made under FERPA’s health or safety emergency provision. Accordingly, members of a threat assessment team might include officials who can assist in making such decisions, such as school principals, counselors, school law enforcement unit officials, as well as outside medical and mental health professionals and local law enforcement officers.”
Several deputies have received training in de-escalating mental health situations and/or dealing with active shooters. Sheriff Schenck has been holding talks with school districts about increasing the number of School Resource Officers in the county.
Listen to my full Inside the FLX conversation with the Sheriff below.