SVH Frequently Asked Questions - School and Law Enforcement

How does the hotline program work?
Trained dispatchers interview students and concerned citizens about school violence threats or incidents and enter the information into a centralized database. The dispatchers immediately call the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction and the local school district. The report is forwarded by fax or e–mail and the dispatchers confirm that the report was received. Local officials can conduct a joint investigation or handle the concern separately depending on local protocols. Some communities prefer to bring together their risk assessment team to conduct a collaborative investigation.
Do local officials follow–up with the hotline dispatcher?
Local officials are not required to call back the hotline staff. The hotline dispatchers will contact the local officials in 30 days for a follow-up survey in compliance with the Missouri Department of Public Safety and the Juvenile Justice Accountability Block Grant’s guidelines.
Surveys may be completed online:
How do schools promote the hotline number?
Local schools and law enforcement agencies may order in–stock promotional items FREE OF CHARGE including pencils, wallet cards, and magnets. There is an easy on–line order form or orders can be made by calling the toll–free hotline number at 1-866-748-7047.
Schools can also download posters and graphics from the hotline’s website. The hotline’s phone number should be listed in student handbooks, school calendars, and on the local school’s website in order to spread the word in the community. School officials can schedule staff trainings or pass out promotional items during parents night or other school safety assemblies.
How does the hotline help prevent school violence?
Students are empowered with an anonymous means to report school violence. Based on research from the U.S. Secret Service, in 81% of school shootings the attackers told other students about their plans beforehand. When agencies collaborate on school violence, they can identify youth at risk and assess the needs of the youth. Establishing a resource for students to report threats and school safety concerns anonymously will encourage youth to come forward with life–saving information that students may have otherwise kept to themselves.
How successful has the hotline program been in preventing school violence?
In the 2012–2013 grant year, school administrators reported over 1000 specific positive outcomes as a result of receiving a school violence report. Over 91% of school officials and law enforcement agencies reported that the school violence hotline is a useful service. In addition, 90% of school personnel and law enforcement agencies surveyed felt the hotline report they received promoted cooperation between the two entities, making emergency response, intervention, and prevention more successful.