October 4, 2023
Together we can make a difference in preventing targeted violence; breaking down silos through community partnership to mitigate threats. The Rochester Threat Advisory Committee (ROCTAC), NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DSHES), and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office present the 2nd Annual Preventing Targeted Violence Symposium. This critical conversation and day-long conference also includes participation and support by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FBI, U.S. Secret Service, Association of Threat Assessment Professionals, state and local law enforcement, business leaders, human resources professionals, school districts, mental health professionals, social services agencies, and many others.
ROCTAC became operational in January 2019. Representing a consortium of community stakeholders with diverse expertise and access to resources dedicated to closing threat management gaps in Rochester /Monroe County, ROCTAC has grown to become a national model, providing guidance on the mitigation of those threats. It acts as a clearing house for information flow specific to situations known as Threat Cases. Threat Cases are defined as situations, above normal occurrences, where the risk of violence is assessed to be imminent and/or a cluster of risk factors and warning behaviors are present, commonly associated with elevated risks for targeted violence. We encourage communities to develop their own Threat Assessment and Management (TAM) teams, preparing for pre-meditated, planned instances of targeted violence.
“Early intervention is the cornerstone to preventing acts of targeted violence,” said Monroe County Sheriff Todd K. Baxter. “The evolving national landscape of targeted violence and mass shootings should prompt every community to develop their own consortium of partners to work collaboratively to identify, assess and manage potential threats. It is during this critical, pre-attack period that a TAM Team can help guide individuals away from a path of targeted violence.”
The initiatives that began with ROCTAC continue as we further our work to prevent hate and targeted violence throughout our state, with ongoing efforts to develop additional Threat Assessment and Management (TAM) Teams and the state’s Targeted Violence Prevention Strategy.
“Far too many people continue to turn to violence as a way to prove a point or resolve a grievance,” said New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray. “To keep our communities safe, it’s critical we not only have strong interdiction strategies, but embrace proven prevention strategies. New York has promoted this model under the leadership of Governor Hochul and this symposium will strengthen the partnerships that are essential to this work.”
We must never forget the inspiration behind ROCTAC, seven year-old Hunter Resch of Greece, who was tragically murdered at the hands of his father. While ROCTAC cannot share specific cases and results due to confidentiality, HIPPA and FERPA regulations, success can be measured by the testimonials of those who have brought a case before the committee, and received guidance to help resolve the situation in a peaceful manner. We are stronger together.