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  4. Resources to Support Campus Law Enforcement and Public Safety to Protect Against Targeted Violence

Resources to Support Campus Law Enforcement and Public Safety to Protect Against Targeted Violence

Release Date: May 2, 2024

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), along with our partners at all levels of government, will continue to help Institutions of Higher Education, campus law enforcement, and campus public safety officials prepare for and respond to a range of public safety challenges, recognizing that DHS respects privacy, civil rights and civil liberties and will not interfere with activity protected by the First Amendment. Below are a variety of DHS resources that may be helpful to campus law enforcement and campus public safety officials when facing heightened threats of targeted violence. Other federal resources are also included.

Campus law enforcement and institutions of higher education face specific challenges, and targeted training and technical assistance (TTA) are a key tool in addressing them. The resources below range from simple guides to on-demand online training videos to in-person training for situations ranging from First Amendment-protected demonstrations to targeted violence prevention. 

  • Responding to First Amendment-Protected Events: The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement Officers. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) provides online training videos for law enforcement to assist in understanding their roles and responsibilities as they prepare for and respond to a First Amendment-protected event; protecting the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties of persons and groups participating in a First Amendment- protected event; and reinforcing fundamental concepts learned at law enforcement training academies and during in-service programs.
  • 21st Century Protest Response: Promoting Democracy and Advancing Community and Officer Safety (COPS) - This guide provides recommendations for state, local, tribal, territorial, and campus law enforcement agencies responding to mass demonstrations.
  • Crisis Management Affecting Institutions of Higher Education: A Collaborative Community Approach – This FEMA course trains campus and community members, and others involved in crisis management duties and responsibilities related to institutions of higher education on how to effectively manage a crisis with a whole community approach, effective crisis communication, and a series of well-developed plans. The course uses FEMA's five mission areas (Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery) and has specific emphasis on the unique aspects of response to crisis management involving institutions of higher education and the communities in which they are located. The course utilizes the integration principles of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), case studies, and activities are presented to aid the participants in recognizing potential gaps in their current crisis management program.
  • Resources for Individuals on the Threat of Doxing. Doxing refers to gathering an individual’s personally identifiable information (PII) and releasing it publicly for malicious purposes, such as public humiliation, stalking, identity theft, or targeting for harassment. This infographic outlines proactive steps individuals can take to prevent themselves from doxing. The infographic also recommends steps that can be taken to protect individuals who are victims of doxing.
  • DOJ’s Community Relations Services. CRS provides support to public and private secondary schools, universities and colleges that are experiencing actual or perceived tension or conflicts based on race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability. CRS serves as a neutral third party and its services are confidential, voluntary, and provided at no cost.
  • Leadership in a Crisis Training Program - The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) offers a 3-day program for sworn officers that uses innovative technology to create an immersive environment that challenges the participants’ ability to apply leadership, interpersonal and decision-making skills in a crisis situation.
  • National Threat Evaluation and Reporting (NTER) Program Office. The NTER Program Office provides partners with tools and resources to identify, report, and mitigate threats of terrorism and targeted violence. NTER’s Master Trainer Program is an instructor development and certification program that prepares federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial (F/SLTT) partners to train their local communities in Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management (BTAM) techniques and best practices. This program is a key resource for law enforcement and school safety personnel to help directly train their own communities on how to recognize the warning signs and contribute to local terrorism and targeted violence prevention efforts. In addition to the MTP, NTER offers school safety personnel other free resources and training opportunities, including publicly available eLearnings, such as the Foundations of Targeted Violence Prevention, and Quarterly Webinars.
  • The Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center (CRI-TAC). The CRI- TAC program provides critical and tailored assistance resources to state, local, territorial, and Tribal law enforcement agencies on a variety of topics. It features a “by the field, for the field” approach while delivering individualized technical assistance using leading experts in public safety, crime reduction, and community policing topics. CRI-TAC is a public service and offered at no-cost to agencies. Specifically, CRI-TAC can provide tailored training and technical assistance on mass demonstrations, protests, and gatherings for a campus context.
  • FEMA’s National Training and Education Division (NTED). NTED provides funding and oversight for roughly 49 partners across the nation, who provide courses for first responders, emergency managers, and others in the community. In all, the NTED catalog includes 231 courses suited for law enforcement personnel. NTED also supports the Center for Homeland Defense and Security, focusing on assisting current and emerging leaders in Homeland Defense and Security to develop the policies, strategies, programs and organizational elements needed to defeat terrorism and prepare for and respond to natural disasters and public safety threats across the United States. Courses specifically designed for Institutions of Higher Education and campus law enforcement, including “Crisis Management Affecting Institutions of Higher Education: A Collaborative Community Approach” and “Crisis Management for School-based Incidents – Partnering Rural Law enforcement, First Responders, and Local School Systems” 
  • Physical Security: Active Shooter Preparedness, Bombing Prevention, and More. Defending our homeland begins with protecting our nation’s hometown security – our physical security. Providing comprehensive physical security requires expertise across a broad range of physical environments and threat types. From public gatherings, schools, businesses, and houses of worship, there are a vast number of physical locations that must be protected. These locations are vulnerable to active shooter, bombing, unmanned aircraft, vehicle ramming as well as insider threat attacks. There are preventative and protective strategies that can be implemented at the federal, state, local and tribal government levels, within business and organizational structures, and for each individual citizen to safeguard our nation’s physical security.
  • Security Assessment at First Entry (SAFE). SAFE is a rapid physical security assessment that assists facility owners and operators in implementing effective security programs. Using SAFE, CISA Protective Security Advisors (PSA) provide a structured review of a facility’s existing security measures and delivers feedback on observed vulnerabilities and options for improving security.
  • Crisis Management for School-based Incidents – Partnering Rural Law enforcement, First Responders, and Local School Systems – The purpose of this course created by FEMA is to educate rural law enforcement personnel as well as school administrators and personnel on the elements that must be in place to effectively respond to an emergency at a school building or an entire school system. Schools continue to face incidents of violence as well as other crises that require coordination and collaboration within a community to ensure effective management strategies are in place. This course provides information to the individual rural responder, school representatives, and other community stakeholders that will assist them in the recognition of school-based threats and the identification of protection measures and mitigation strategies.

There are many offices that focus on providing support to law enforcement and their partners and addressing the needs of agencies when facing heightened threats of targeted violence. These offices can provide support, resources, and subject matter expertise to assist institutions of higher learning and law enforcement in addressing the needs of their campus and community.

  • Office for State and Local Law Enforcement. The Office for State and Local Law Enforcement (OSLLE) provides DHS with primary coordination, liaison, and advocacy for state, local, tribal, territorial and campus law enforcement agencies. OSLLE accomplishes its mission through partnerships and relationships with SLTTC law enforcement, both through national associations and directly with the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States. OSLLE’s responsibilities including cultivating partnerships with SLTTC law enforcement, both directly and through DHS senior leadership engagements; serving as an advocate and voice for SLTTC law enforcement within DHS during policy, program, and initiative development; developing and sharing pertinent and timely information and resources with stakeholders, both proactively and in response to requests, including the development of custom solutions when off the shelf resources do not exist; ensuring that law enforcement and terrorism focused grants are appropriately focused on terrorism prevention activities; and collaborating across DHS to help inform DHS law enforcement policies with SLTTC law enforcement best practices, provide DHS operational support to SLTTC law enforcement, and coordinate external affairs activities with SLTTC law enforcement.
  • Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships. The Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) seeks a resilient America where communities are united to help end targeted violence and terrorism. To accomplish this, CP3 has Regional Prevention Coordinators (RPCs) stationed across the United States to help establish and support prevention efforts at the local level, administers the Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention grant program, and sponsors the Invent2Prevent program which challenges students in high schools, colleges, and universities to develop targeted violence prevention programs. Invent2Prevent provides an overview of CP3's mission, vision, and activities, including grant funding, a regional prevention map, and materials to help support communities in building out their prevention efforts.
  • Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Protective Security Advisors. Protective Security Advisors (PSAs) within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) assist critical infrastructure owners and operators, houses of worship, schools, and other organizations with conducting physical security assessments, enhancing emergency action planning, supporting incident coordination, and providing access to training and exercise resources. For more information or to contact your local PSA, please contact central@cisa.dhs.gov.
  • U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC). The U.S. Secret Service NTAC provides research, guidance, case studies, training, and consultation on topics related to behavioral threat assessment and the prevention of targeted violence. NTAC’s multidisciplinary team of subject matter experts is comprised of social science researchers and regional Domestic Security Strategists (DSSs) who empower our partners in law enforcement, schools, government, and other public and private sector organizations to combat targeted violence impacting communities across the United States. For more information or to contact your regional DSS, please contact NTAC-DSS@usss.dhs.gov.

Sharing information with federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and campus partners across the country is key to providing the highest standard of response when faced with the threat of targeted violence. This does not include First Amendment protected activities, which require rigorous protection of civil rights and civil liberties.

  • Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN). Institutions of Higher Education leaders, law enforcement, and public safety officials can use HSIN to access Homeland Security data, send requests securely between agencies, manage operations, coordinate planned event safety and security, respond to incidents, and share the information they need to fulfill their missions and help keep their communities safe. HSIN is DHS’s official system for trusted sharing of Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) information between federal, state, local, territorial, tribal, international, and private sector partners.  Sworn law enforcement partners, fusion centers, and other governmental partners with an intelligence mission can use HSIN-Intelligence to access up-to-date intelligence products from the National Network of Fusion Centers and federal partners. For both non-sworn public safety officials, sworn law enforcement partners, and other governmental and private sector partners, HSIN-Critical Instructure provides a single source where critical and timely information from DHS is shared.
  • Fusion Centers. State and major urban area fusion centers are owned and operated by state and local entities, and serve as primary focal points for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information among federal, SLTTC, and campus partners. Fusion centers are uniquely situated to empower law enforcement and other front-line personnel to lawfully gather and share threat-related information, including through the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative.
  • Suspicious Activity Reporting. The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) is a joint collaborative effort by DHS, the FBI, and state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement partners. This initiative provides law enforcement with another tool to help prevent terrorism and other related criminal activity by establishing a national capacity for identifying, gathering, documenting, processing, analyzing, and sharing SAR information. The NSI provides hometown security partners with training on how to identify suspicious activity. You can find trainings for campus law enforcement and public safety partners on the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) site.

For guidance on the eligibility of law enforcement agencies at institutions of higher education to receive both State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and Urban Area security Initiative (UASI) funding for eligible activities, refer to the Information Bulletin 504 issued by FEMA. For information on programs that provide funding for target hardening and protection against targeted violence, see the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), Homeland Security Grant Program (HSCP), and the Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program (TVTP) below.

  • Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP). NSGP provides funding support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack. The intent is to integrate nonprofit preparedness activities with broader state and local preparedness efforts. It is also designed to promote coordination and collaboration in emergency preparedness activities among public and private community representatives, as well as state and local government agencies. The application period opened on April, 16, 2024. The application deadline for nonprofit organizations is determined by your State Administrative Agency (SAA). Contact your SAA for details on the application deadline.
  • Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP). HSGP includes a suite of risk-based grants to assist state, local, tribal, and territorial efforts in preventing, protecting against, mitigating, responding to and recovering from acts of terrorism and other threats. This grant provides grantees with the resources required for implementation of the National Preparedness System and working toward the National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient nation. Law enforcement agencies at institutions of higher education (e.g., public and private colleges and universities) are eligible to receive both State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) funding, both of which are part of HSGP, for eligible activities as subrecipients. The application period opened on April 16, 2024. Completed applications must be submitted by no later than 5 p.m. ET on June 24, 2024. The application deadline for subrecipients is determined by your State Administrative Agency (SAA). Contact your SAA for details on the application deadline.
  • Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program (TVTP). TVTP provides funding for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; nonprofits; and institutions of higher education with funds to establish or enhance capabilities to prevent targeted violence and terrorism. The Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administer the program. It is the only federal grant program solely dedicated to helping local communities develop and strengthen their capabilities in this area. The application period opened on April 15, 2024. DHS will be accepting submissions through May 17, 2024.
  • Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Program. The Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Program provides support to state, local, and Tribal law enforcement and prosecution agencies and their partners in conducting outreach, educating practitioners and the public, enhancing victim reporting tools, and investigating and prosecuting hate crimes. In FY 2024, applications for programs that actively seek to address hate incidents on college and university campuses will be given priority consideration.

  • Law Enforcement Resource Guide. A comprehensive summary of resources for state, local, tribal, territorial, and campus law enforcement partners. This resource is available online and highlights DHS resources to all law enforcement, including training, technical assistance support, and grant opportunities to support law enforcement partners to address evolving and emerging threats.
  • Prevention Resource Finder. The Prevention Resource Finder provides stakeholders with information on the resources needed to help prepare for and prevent targeted violence and terrorism across our country. To find relevant resources quickly, click on "All Resources" on the landing page and then use the "Audience" filter to select “Law Enforcement”, “Education”, or the most relevant audience type for your needs.
  • School Safety Clearinghouse. Contains information to help schools develop comprehensive security plans and create safe and supportive learning environments.
  • School Safety Resources. CISA is committed to enhancing school security and student and staff safety. Educational institutions face a wide range of digital and physical threats, ranging from targeted violence to cyberattacks. CISA partners with educational institutions and other organizations throughout government, law enforcement, and communities nationwide and offers a variety of resources, programs, and tools to make our schools safer for students, staff, and parents.
Last Updated: 05/03/2024
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