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APPENDIX A: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MASSACHUSETTS COLLEGES

1. Early Detection and Prevention

  • Recommendation #1: Campus mental health services should be clearly available and easily accessible to students.   
  • Recommendation #2: Schools should offer specialized mental health services, not just generalized services.
  • Recommendation #3: Writings, drawings, and other forms of individual expression reflecting violent fantasy and causing a faculty member to be fearful or concerned about safety, should be evaluated contextually for any potential threat.

2. Physical and Electronic Security

  • Recommendation #4: Schools should ensure that all exterior doors are properly constructed and lockable.
  • Recommendation #5: Schools should develop a reasonable plan for electronic access control in the event of an emergency.
  • Recommendation #6: Schools should install CCTV cameras throughout their campuses.
  • Recommendation #7: Schools should equip all classrooms with emergency signaling/notification capabilities.

3. Campus Police Department

  • Recommendation #8: Campus police departments should have up-to-date active shooter response plans in place and train their officers in active shooter response tactics.
  • Recommendation #9: Campus safety staffing levels should be adequate for the size and character of the school.
  •   Recommendation #10: Sworn campus police officers should be armed and trained in the use of personal or specialized firearms.
  • Recommendation #11: Schools should ensure that the campus police department has the equipment necessary to gain forcible entry into locked buildings and classrooms.

4. Mass Notification

  • Recommendation #12: Schools should have a communications system that is interoperable with outside agencies.
  • Recommendation #13: Schools should establish a formal policy for use of their mass notification system.

5. Policies and Procedures

  • Recommendation #14: Schools should have in place a formal policy outlining how and to whom faculty and staff should refer students who appear to have the potential for becoming violent.
  • Recommendation #15: Faculty and staff should receive training in identifying students at risk.
  • Recommendation #16: Faculty and staff should receive training in managing difficult interactions and situations.
  • Recommendation #17: Faculty and staff should be informed about the appropriate protocol in the event of a crisis.
  • Recommendation #18: Schools should include public safety as part of the orientation process.
  • Recommendation #19: Graduate student applicants should be directly queried regarding any unusual academic histories, as well as criminal records and disciplinary actions.
  • Recommendation #20: Schools should conduct vulnerability assessments at least once per year.
  • Recommendation #21: Schools should form mutual aid agreements or have Memoranda of Understanding (MOU’s) with agencies in the community having necessary support resources, such as mental health service providers, emergency medical response services, and law enforcement agencies.
  • Recommendation #22: Schools should have multiple reporting systems that permit campus community members to report suspicious behavior anonymously and conveniently.

6. Emergency Response

  • Recommendation #23: Every college and university should review and update its Emergency Response Plan (ERP) on a regular basis.
  • Recommendation #24: Every school should form, train and maintain a Threat Assessment Team (TAT).
  • Recommendation #25: The TAT should consist of representatives from various departments and agencies, minimally comprised of student services and counseling staff, faculty, police, human resources personnel, and legal counsel.
  • Recommendation #26: Each school should have a trained behavioral health Trauma Response Team (TRT), either on campus or through a contract or formal agreement.
  • Recommendation #27: Schools should plan for victim services and aftermath issues.

>> Next Section: Appendix B. Recommendations from Existing Reports on Campus Violence

 

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