Tuscaloosa County’s law enforcement community will host a seminar next week aimed at preventing violence in schools.
The event, “School Violence, Causes and Triggers,” will include training by Phil Chalmers, author of “Mind of a Teen Killer” who is featured on Fox’s Crime Watch Daily.
Training will be available to public and private school administrators and staff, law enforcement agents, juvenile probation officers, child therapists, judges and social workers.
“We invited anyone we could think of who deals regularly with children,” said Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb.
Webb, Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy, Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson and Northport Police Chief Gerald Burton spoke at a news conference to announce the event Thursday.
“Obviously the safety of our children is paramount,” Webb said. “The goal of this is to be able to better identify issues and address them before they turn into problems.”
Abernathy said the event will be a way for participants to learn of information and techniques being used across the country.
“We want to educate not only law enforcement officers, but teachers and administrative staff who should understand the importance of taking these actions, whether it’s the physical security aspect of locking the school up or using camera systems,” he said.
Training topics include homicide and mass murder crime scenes, school safety and proactive measures, youth culture and current trends.
“Anything that can give us a new perspective or show us some trends across the nation that we can use will be wonderful,” Burton said.
Anderson said the ultimate goal is making sure children in Tuscaloosa are provided with an environment conducive to learning and free from threats.
“It’s great to have open dialogue between all the law enforcement agencies and the school systems,” he said. “That’s what protecting and serving the community is about — it’s about collaboration and cooperation.”
The event is being funding by money seized through civil asset forfeiture in cases made by the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. July 18 at the Tuscaloosa River Market, 1900 Jack Warner Parkway. To register, visit www.leat.org or call Webb’s office at 205-349-1252.