Westerville police officer Thomas “Cory” Baker told the group he hoped they would never have to experience a serious threat to students or staff, but said they must be prepared to assess every situation.
On Wednesday morning, August 6, law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, and representatives from the Westerville City School District gathered in the Media Center at Westerville South High for a Threat Assessment workshop. The training event was led by Westerville police officers Cory Baker and Dr. Dan Pignatelli (who were introduced by Sergeant Douglas E. Stephens,) along with Westerville City Schools Crises Intervention Specialist Noelle Spriestersbach.
Westerville Schools utilize systematic threat assessment as a strategy for determining the credibility and seriousness of a threat and the likelihood that it will be carried out. This strategy is an integral part of the district’s overall approach to school safety and crisis response and, when necessary, is implemented by a group of trained professionals. The threat assessment team carefully examines the full range of relevant factors and provides appropriate interventions for potential offenders. At the meeting on Wednesday, participants engaged in a round-table discussion, reviewed the Threat Assessment Plan, and broke out into small groups to consider different scenarios.