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Student Behavioral Threat Assessment Workshop Held in Dunlap

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“If in doubt, shout it out!” That’s the message a national safety expert is teaching Illinois law enforcement and educators. Dozens of agencies and schools are participating in an Illinois School and Campus Safety Program at Dunlap High School.

The workshop focused on evaluating student behavior and threat prevention methods. Dr. Gene Deisinger is with the Virginia-based SIGMA threat management associates. He says cooperation between schools, law enforcement and the wider community is the best threat prevention approach.

“Violence is a complex phenomenon. It’s not solely a mental health (issue). It’s not solely behavioral. It's not solely a criminal issue. It’s not solely an administrative issue. So if we can bring the best assets we have from those respective domains, we have the best possible solution with the resources we have,” says Deisinger.

Deisinger says concerning behavior most likely won’t result in a mass shooting, but it may mean the student needs some form of intervention. Peoria Police Lieutenant Steve Rogee agrees. He says prevention methods complement current “run, hide, fight” training. That’s the Department of Homeland Security’s active shooter response course.

“We’ve taught a lot on  the active shooter, active  assailant portion of it with the  “run, the hide, the fight.” But the biggest thing is if we can prevent these incidents from occurring, we do not have to use the run, hide, fight,” says Rogee.

Rogee encourages the public to report concerning behavior. He says all threats are credible until proven otherwise.


Kristin McHugh is an experienced radio journalist and nonprofit manager. Most recently, she served as executive director of the Peoria Area World Affairs Council.