The Chatham County, Georgia Police Department (CCPD) is using Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) grant funding to establish a multidisciplinary behavioral threat assessment and management (BTAM) network as well as purchase licenses for neighboring law enforcement (LE) agencies to facilitate the use of a single information-sharing platform.
As a new agency—resuming its separate status after dissolving the joint Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department—CCPD command staff quickly sought to establish credibility and gain goodwill by partnering with local law enforcement agencies, health care facilities, schools, businesses, and community members. CCPD received its first CP3 TVTP grant in fiscal year 2020 to establish a BTAM network of multidisciplinary stakeholders and create a network using standard language and tools to increase both awareness of and capability to respond to violent events.
The Chatham County, Georgia Police Department used its grant funding to build a stakeholder network and gathered eight law enforcement organizations on a single referral and threat assessment and management platform to improve information sharing.
CCPD staff conducted a stakeholder identification and mapping process to create a network of relevant stakeholders to participate in its BTAM. CCPD identified more than a dozen agencies and organizations to partner with, including eight local LE agencies and an additional group of violence prevention organizations. CCPD identified at least one leader from each stakeholder and reached out to schedule 13 one-on-one meetings with 162 individuals to convey the importance of collaboration. They then followed up by communicating the key needs each organization could address and the value they would add to the partnership.
The Chatham County, Georgia, Police Department used its grant funding to build a stakeholder network and gathered eight law enforcement organizations on a single referral and threat assessment and management platform to improve information sharing.
In addition, CCPD emphasized building community trust through direct engagement. CCPD prioritized establishing itself as a community partner by communicating regularly and almost exclusively with local news organizations, rather than national media.
CCPD also used its grant funding to purchase SmartForce Intelligence licenses for each of the LE agencies to ensure the use of a single platform for sharing information and worked to synchronize the style of reports made on the platform. The information shared includes referral “tips” regarding suspicious individuals that one agency receives but are useful for other agencies to be aware of, individuals who are encountered repeatedly, and general awareness and threat information that crosses jurisdictions. Whenever possible, reports are logged with an identified name for future recall in a synchronized format so that any of the participating agencies know where to look for valuable information.
Chatham Threat Assessment and Management Network
The purpose of the Chatham TAM Network is to enhance law enforcement intelligence capabilities and ensure local governments are integrated as part of a holistic approach to preparedness. The creation of a countywide team builds on and strengthens the existing processes by creating shared ownership and shared responsibility for threat assessment and intervention, standardizing threat and response protocols, and promoting county-wide safety.
- Chatham TAM Network Member Agencies:
- Chatham District Attorney's Office
- Chatham County Juvenile Court
- Chatham County Police Department
- Chatham County Sheriff’s Office
- Division of Family and Children's Services
- The Front Porch
- Gateway Behavioral Health Crisis Center
- The Mediation Center
- Savannah Chatham County Public School District
- Savannah Department of Community Supervision
- Savannah Police Department
- Savannah Vet Center
Chatham Area Intelligence Network (CHAIN)
The purpose of CHAIN is to enhance law enforcement intelligence capabilities and ensure local governments are integrated as part of a holistic approach to preparedness. CHAIN seeks to leverage the success of the Savannah Police Department’s Savannah Area Regional Intelligence Center (SARIC) and grow its reach to support the entirety of Chatham County by monitoring for threats and providing timely intelligence of potential threats.
These efforts have connected the LE agencies within and near Chatham County to other local and national stakeholders and have significantly increased public buy-in to the department’s work.