The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) announced it has received a federal grant to fund development of the first-ever standardized violence prevention protocol (SVPP) for U.S. schools. The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, issued the $499,460 grant through the Office’s Community Policing Development (CPD) program.

“We’ve seen a significant gap between knowledge about school violence prevention and actual practice,” said Mo Canady, NASRO’s executive director. “Research about past school shootings reveals ways to prevent future attacks, and helpful school safety guidelines have been published, but no one has created a toolkit that focuses on school violence prevention specifically. We intend to change that by creating a protocol that any school can easily understand and implement. Thus, we hope to make schools safer throughout the country.”

Canady said he expects the new SVPP, when complete, to incorporate key violence prevention recommendations and the evidence-based tools and resources for localizing those recommendations. The SVPP will be a clear, accessible and flexible training curriculum and guide on best practices for building a positive school climate and culture. It will simultaneously address foundational areas of school safety, including reporting of potential threats, information sharing and threat assessment.

To develop the SVPP, NASRO is collaborating with the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, the National Police Foundation, Safe and Sound Schools, and the “I Love U Guys” Foundation. The group also plans to enlist the collaboration of 23 additional local, state and national partners.

The project development team conducted its initial planning meeting in December. They plan to have an SVPP guide, training materials and presentations ready for pilot testing by autumn 2020. By late 2021, they expect to have final materials prepared, instructors trained and nationwide dissemination underway.