Jersey City/Newark Violence Prevention Initiatives

Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management (BTAM)

  • Core Cities: Jersey City and Newark 
  • Counties: Bergen, Essex Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Union
  • Partner Agencies: NJSP, NJ ROIC, NJ OHSP and NJ DOE
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About the Jersey City/Newark UASI Violence Prevention Initiative 

The field of behavioral threat assessment and management (BTAM) has grown significantly in recent years with increasing numbers of law enforcement, mental health, human resource, and school officials utilizing structured assessment of behavior to determine individuals’ trajectory to violence and to formulate informed mitigation strategies. BTAM relies on evaluators using structured professional judgment to make sense of an individual’s current and past behavior – behavioral data. 

Multi-disciplinary BTAM teams are designed to reduce silos and facilitate the sharing of information from data repositories germane to the participants’ professional sectors. The model is designed to removes silos through interdisciplinary partnerships that leverage the experience and expertise of individual members, while protecting privacy, civil rights and civil liberties. Both Community Based-Multi-disciplinary and School Based programs operate on a public health model leveraging approaches designed to intervene at the pre-criminal stage and prevent acts of targeted violence, employing long-term case management and threat management strategies. 

What Threat Assessment IS
  1. Identify persons of concern
  2. Gather information/investigate
  3. Assess person and situation
  4. Manage the person / situation
Behavioral threat assessment is fact-based and deductive

Facts - Conclusions - Strategies

Pathway to Violence

Ideation - Planning  - Preparation - Implementation

Behavioral Threat Assessment is not:
  • NOT the same as profiling
  • NOT adversarial
  • NOT the same as a disciplinary process
  • NOT the same as a behavioral assessment
  • AND NOT the School to Prison Pipeline

Why Use It

A research-based model, developed from empirical findings  about US school shootings:
  • There is no accurate or useful profile of a “school shooter” or “active shooter”
  • In most cases, active shooters and school shooters tell other people beforehand that they are  planning a school shooting. They disclose plans through social media, homework assignments, comments to friends, etc.
  • BTAM can divert or “off ramp” a person from violence or self harm

The Jersey City- Newark UASI’s Approach

Under the direction of the Urban Area Security Initiative’s Executive Committee, the Program Management Office /Office of Management and Regional Integration coordinates and funds training across the UASI Region. The PMO works with partners across disciplines at the Federal, State. County and Local levels to establish programs that prevent violence.

Prevention Resource Finder

Training Resources

For more information contact us at