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Preventing Targeted Violence

Welcome to the Preventing Targeted Violence in California webpage, dedicated to providing valuable resources and support to stakeholders across the state. Targeted violence poses a significant threat to the safety and well-being of individuals, communities, and institutions. This webpage aims to highlight the importance of collaboration and provide tools, information, and resources for stakeholders to actively engage in preventing targeted violence in California. By working together, we can foster a safer and more resilient California.

What is targeted violence?

Targeted violence refers to any act of violence that is directed towards a specific individual or group. It can include acts of terrorism, hate crimes, school shootings, domestic violence, and workplace violence.

What is the state of targeted violence in California?

In recent years, California has witnessed a series of high-profile acts of targeted violence, including mass shootings, acts of terrorism, hate crimes, and gang-related incidents. For example:

  • California experienced an average of 44 mass shootings per year between 2013 and 2021, which translates to one mass shooting every 8.3 days. Mass shooters killed an average of 49 people and injured 167 others in each of the last eight years
  • In January 2023, at least 25 people were killed in four separate mass shootings in just eight days, defined as any shooting in which at least four people are injured.
  • In 2020, there were 1,330 hate crimes reported in California, with the majority being motivated by race or ethnicities.
  • According to data from the Department of Homeland Security, from 2010 to 2020, California experienced the most domestic terrorism incidents in the US.

These data points underscore the importance of implementing comprehensive strategies to prevent such violence, which require collaboration among law enforcement agencies, active community engagement, bolstered mental health support, and proactive prevention measures.

IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY, CALL 9-1-1, do not report suspicious activity to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Instead, notify local law enforcement. This webpage is intended to provide information on supplemental resources only.

Upcoming events:

On August 15th at 10:30 AM PST, representatives from the California Department of Education, Sandy Hook Promise, and National Alliance on Mental Illness will discuss how schools and districts can access resources at no cost to improve school safety and prevent targeted violence through supporting student mental health and emotional safety.

To register for this webinar, please visit the following link.


Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs)

A Gun Violence Restraining Order, or GVRO, can serve as valuable tool in preventing targeted violence. This order is a temporary action taken by a local court to stop someone in crisis from harming themself or others by temporarily preventing access to guns and ammunition while the order is in place. The temporary removal of firearms can help prevent potential acts of violence, giving law enforcement and mental health professionals a critical intervention opportunity to address underlying issues and mitigate risks posed by flagged individuals.

  • GunSafety.ca.gov
    • This website features a culturally competent suite of materials on Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO) and California Gun Violence Prevention Measures, including fact sheets and explainers to spread accurate and credible information about this life-saving tool and make it easier for Californians in all our communities to request a GVRO. All the resources have been trans-created into the eight most spoken languages in California: English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), Vietnamese, Tagalog/Filipino, Korean and Armenian.

California educators and school staff play a vital role in creating safe and secure learning environments for students in California. There are several resources available for California schools to help prevent targeted school violence. These resources include:

  • Schoolsafety.gov: This website provides a variety of resources to help schools prevent targeted violence including an operational guide for preventing targeted school violence, resources designed in partnership with the California Association of School Counselors, the U.S. Department of Education’s “Early Warning, Timely Response – A Guide to Safe Schools,” the School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP), Project Cal-STOP, Comprehensive School Safety Plans, and the Safe & Supportive Schools initiative.
  • Violence Prevention Information: The California Department of Education provides information concerning violence prevention, safe storage of firearms, and school safety planning. It also offers resources for schools to use for violence prevention and supporting their school communities.
  • Project Cal-STOP: This project targets high-need schools that can demonstrate a commitment to address school violence and reduce it through student education and staff training
  • Safe & Supportive Schools: The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education provides schools, school districts, and state education agencies with resources aimed at creating and nurturing positive school climates, preventing school violence, and protecting the whole school community through school safety, security, and emergency management and preparedness planning.
  • School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP): This program provides funding to improve school security by providing training and technical assistance to schools and law enforcement agencies. It also offers resources to identify students of concern, assess their risk for engaging in violence, and identify intervention strategies to mitigate that risk.
  • Enhancing School Safety Using a Threat Assessment Model: An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence: This guide provides basic instructions for schools on creating a targeted violence prevention plan, the focus of which is to decrease the risk of students engaging in harm to themselves or the school community.
Public Safety Officials and first responders

Public safety officials and first responders play a pivotal role in preventing and addressing targeted violence incidents in California and are often the first on scene responders in the event of an act of targeted violence. Hence the need for resources to help them provide a swift and and effective response which can make a crucial difference in minimizing harm and saving lives. Some of these resources include:

  • Law Enforcement Intelligence: A Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement Agencies (Third Edition)
  • This guide provides information to aid law enforcement agencies in developing and operating an intelligence function that is efficient, effective, and lawful. The third edition also includes discussions and analysis of targeted violence, such as school shootings, right-wing extremism, drug trafficking, gangs, and various types of criminal enterprises.
  • The Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) Behavioral Threat Assessment Center (BTAC) is the primary national resource for TATM matters related to FBI-led terrorism investigations. BTAC conducts training and research and provides behavior-based investigative and operational support—such as case consultations—to law enforcement, including to those personnel serving on TATM teams working on terrorism and targeted violence. BTAC’s services can be requested by law enforcement through your local BAU Threat Management Coordinator.
  • National Counter Terrorism Center, First Responders Toolbox: First Responder Toolbox is an ad hoc, Unclassified//For Official Use Only, reference aid intended to promote counterterrorism coordination among federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government authorities and partnerships with private sector officials in deterring, preventing, disrupting, and responding to terrorist attacks.
  • IACP, Targeted Violence/Active Threat Resource: IACP hosts a resource page designed to bring together in one place some of the best thinking, most important lessons, and most helpful resources for police leaders, their officers, and communities.
  • FBI, Active Shooter Safety Resources: This page offers valuable information and resources on how individuals can stay safe during active shooter incidents. It also provides access to educational materials, videos, and training programs to promote awareness and preparedness in the face of this critical public safety concern.
Non-Profit and Religious Groups Resources

Protecting non-profit organizations and faith-based organizations from targeted violence is crucial. These organizations serve as pillars of support, fostering social cohesion and addressing community needs. There are available resources aimed at protecting and enhancing these types of organizations. These resources include: