LOS ANGELES, June 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The murders of a UCLA professor and a medical student in Minnesota by a suicidal former student were tragic and senseless. Although the investigation is not yet fully developed, this tragic event offers an opportunity to re-examine critical intervention and response strategies at all schools, public and private institutions.
According to Dr. Tony Beliz, the former Deputy Director of Los Angeles County Mental Health and renowned stalking prevention expert who worked on the aftermath of the LAX shooting, and studied numerous active shooter situations, this is “another grim reminder of the fact that a small percentage of individuals resort to violence to remedy their problems. Chaos inevitably occurs when these events unfold. The key is to prevent panic, which compromises everyone’s safety and complicates the law enforcement response.”
Dr. Beliz continued, “Students and faculty should receive training in identifying communications, behaviors, and dynamics of concern as they serve a safety net function that enhances the eyes and ears of campus and local law enforcement personnel.” Dr. Beliz sees that “Risk mitigation and campus security is not the exclusive domain of law enforcement. Partnerships with students and faculty, collaboration with federal resources, threat assessment experts, and local communities have proven extremely effective in areas where this exists.”
Dr. Beliz added that, “While some experts believe that violence threat risk assessment skills should only be taught to the first responder community, basic assessment skills taught to students and faculty will provide them with the skill set required to know when to make a referral to a threat management team or law enforcement personnel.”
Former LAPD Homicide Commanding Officer, Sergio A. Robleto, has seen the tactical response and control difficulties at school and workplace shootings. According to Robleto, “the response by LAPD and the UCLA police showed great planning. This was shown by the quick response, communications with students limiting their exposure to certain violence, and containment of a fast moving violent situation. And do not forget the courage and discipline displayed by students and staff that followed the directions to evacuate or seek shelter in place.” Robleto added, “Institutions need to constantly review their threat assessment capabilities for vulnerabilities.”
According to Henry Kupperman, General Counsel and a former corporate litigator, “the follow-up to the tragedy may be potential litigation and the need to answer certain questions: what was done, what should have been done, was the school prepared, were staff trained, and most importantly, could the incident have been prevented, particularly with pre-incident training? Schools need to make sure that they work in concert with professionals in threat management and their legal counsel.”
Applied Facts in partnership with Dr. Tony Beliz, Beliz & Associates, provide various training modules that have proven effective in the prevention, assessment, and monitoring of individuals at risk for targeted violence.
Mr. Kupperman, is a former litigator and General Counsel of Applied Facts, a leading international investigative and security consulting firm.
Mr. Sergio A. Robleto retired from LAPD as a Lieutenant II where he commanded South Bureau Homicide. He founded Applied Facts, a consulting firm that helps public entities, corporations and entertainment studios with investigations, security and threat management issues.
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