Onslow County Schools and Jacksonville Police develops threat assessment teams

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A number of agencies in the City of Jacksonville are taking a proactive approach to keep students safe in the classrooms.

At a press conference Monday morning, Jacksonville City Mayor, Jacksonville Police Department, and Onslow County Schools announced their newest safety effort –threat assessment teams.

School administrators and school resource officers (SROs) are in training this week to understand what a threat assessment team is and the criteria used to determine a threat.

Once trained, the teams are designed to monitor student behaviors to identify potential threats. The information is then forwarded to law enforcement to take the proper steps and help with early intervention.

“So they’ll bring the school adminstrator, the school psychologist, and the SRO together and on a monthly basis talk about what potentials there are,” said Jacksonville Police Chief Mike Yaniero.

Jacksonville City Mayor Sammy Phillips says the city and the school district already provides a safe environment for students.

“I think we’re way ahead of the game in most aspects of it, there are probably some things that will need to be fine tuned,” said Phillips.

Threat assessment teams are one of many safety efforts Onslow County Schools has implemented. This school year all Onslow County elementary schools will have an SRO assigned. Each high school will have a dedicated social worker.

“It’s a process of developing trust between the students and officers between the officer and the school staff between the school staff and the students,” said Brent Anderson, Executive Director of Community Affairs at OCS.

Jacksonville PD says developing threat assessment teams is a process. Officials anticipate for the teams to be in place by January.

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