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Brian Willis

Brian Willis

Brian Willis is a retired officer, trainer and author who now serves as deputy executive director for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA).

William Harvey

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.

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Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.


Verbal De-Escalation

Electronic security equipment, weapons and emergency preparedness drills aren't the only campus security tools.

January 11, 2013  |  by Robin Hattersley Gray

As the details about Thursday's Taft Union High School Shooting are coming to light, we're learning that two brave school staff members, teacher Ryan Heber and school counselor Kim Lee Field, were able to distract the shooter long enough so that the rest of the students in Heber's class could escape the room unharmed. Heber and Field were then able to convince the suspect to hand over his weapon.

I don't know if either of these individuals have ever received any type of training on how to verbally de-escalate incidents, but it sure sounds like they knew what they were doing. It also helped that the alleged shooter and Heber, a popular teacher on campus, appear to have had an amicable relationship.

The Taft Union High School shooting demonstrates the importance of providing training to campus teachers, staff and public safety officers on verbal de-escalation.

Unfortunately, according Campus Safety Magazine's most recent opinion survey, a significant percentage of these individuals are not receiving enough training on workplace violence or on how to safety restrain individuals who are harming or might harm themselves or others.

University and school administrators must train all of their employees on these life-saving techniques. The following articles, which have appeared in Campus Safety over the past several years, provide some basic guidance.

Robin Hattersley Gray is the executive editor of Campus Safety Magazine, a sister publication of POLICE Magazine.

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