The Montrose Police Department, Center for Mental Health and Montrose County School District are teaming up to bring an established threat-assessment model to local schools.

Training in the Salem-Keizer Student Threat Assessment model began Monday and continues until Thursday, with a community overview from 9 - 11 a.m. that day, at the Montrose County Event Center.

“It’s going to help us keep schools safe; it’s going to give our school resource officers the tools we need to make sure we manage the threats, not just on the front end, but on the back end as well,” Montrose Police Cmdr. Matt Smith told Montrose City Council Sept. 3.

“That’s where the crucial part of threat assessment takes place, making sure that we don’t just seek expulsion (for example), but that we manage that threat after the fact, because one way or another, those threats are going to be present in our community.”

The three host entities plan to release additional information; Smith made his comments during staff reports at the conclusion of city council’s meeting, inviting councilors to attend the community overview.

The Salem-Keizer threat assessment model was developed by John Vandreal in Salem, Oregon, in 1988.

The model operates with centralized education resources, risk management and security resources, plus public mental health and law enforcement, according to the Salem-Keizer System’s website.

The basic objectives are to assess threats of potentially dangerous or deadly behavior and determine the level of action needed; to organize resources and strategies for managing situations involving students who may be a threat and to maintain a sense of safety among the school community.

It’s been adapted to address situations in rural communities where resources are more limited.

The model helps better manage threats within the school district and, in the future, can be used to address threats from the adult community, Smith told councilors.

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