CENTREVILLE, Va., October 3, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) announced last week that the VTV Family Outreach Foundation (VTV) was selected to receive a $496,340 grant to design a school resource officer (SRO) training curriculum. SROs are sworn law enforcement officers responsible for providing security and crime prevention services in the school environment. VTV will partner with Virginia Tech’s Center for Applied Behavior Systems to incorporate the Actively Caring for People (AC4P) framework, based on behavioral and psychological science, to promote compassion and interdependence in educational settings.

“We are honored to work with the VTV Family Outreach Foundation to collaboratively provide a school safety model that aims to cultivate an Actively Caring for People culture in schools,” said Dr. E. Scott Geller, Alumni-Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Virginia Tech. “Together, we can empower all stakeholders to use research-based strategies in order to reduce conflict and violence.”

“To support safe schools so that children can learn without fear, the COPS Office engages law enforcement, school administrators, parents, and students in problem-solving partnerships targeted at student success,” said Joshua A. Ederheimer, Acting Director of the COPS Office.

The primary objective of the SRO training development is to expand the knowledge base for SROs and those that select, hire, train, and manage them in order to set a national standard for their role in school safety. The long-term outcomes include the creation and enhancement of safe schools that promote a supportive and inclusive climate that address safety issues with both proactive and reactive intervention.

“As the nation searches for a means to avert bullying and violence in our schools, we are excited to partner with Dr. E. Scott Geller and his Actively Caring for People team at Virginia Tech”, said Joe Samaha, VTV President. “We thank the COPS Office for astutely recognizing that AC4P’s framework can be adapted to the SRO training curriculum as an additional promising practice.”

About The VTV Family Outreach Foundation
The VTV Family Outreach Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established by a majority of the families and survivors directly impacted by the April 16, 2007 tragedy at Virginia Tech. Determined to prevent a similar tragedy, the Foundation advocates for K-12 and campus safety and security. VTV’s landmark project called 32 National Campus Safety Initiative™ (32 NCSI) will forever improve campus safety. Learn more at www.VTVfamilyfoundation.org.

About AC4P
Actively Caring for People refers to any behavior that goes above and beyond the call of duty on behalf of the health, safety or welfare of another person. For decades, Dr. E. Scott Geller, Alumni-Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Virginia Tech, has applied behavioral science to keep people safe at work and on the road by increasing the quantity and quality of AC4P behaviors. In the aftermath of the April 16th, 2007 tragedy, Dr. Geller and his students initiated a culture shift at Virginia Tech—the Actively Caring for People Movement. Learn more at www.ac4p.org.

This project was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 2013CKWXK026 awarded by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions contained herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. References to specific agencies, companies, products, or services should not be considered an endorsement by the author(s) or the U.S. Department of Justice. Rather, the references are illustrations to supplement discussion of the issues.