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The Behavioral Intervention Team

Written by: Will Lewis

VSU launched a new program Wednesday to increase campus security. The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) will provide an avenue for students to report threatening behavior.

“In light of the recent shootings on college campuses nationwide, we agree this is a much needed service,” Dr. Thomas Hardy, director of Housing and Residence life and co-chair of BIT, said.

The program is led by Hardy and Major Ann Farmer, assistant director of the VSUPD.

The BIT relies solely on student and faculty reports to stop an incident before it even occurs.

“…the BIT form would be used if an individual’s behavior has changed, such as a person who used to be very interactive and is now withdrawn and talking about how others have not treated him properly and that he intends to ‘fix that problem,’” Dr. Hardy said.

The program is targeting low-level behavior in order to prevent it from escalating. The BIT form can be accessed from the VSUPD website homepage.

Despite its location on the police page of VSU’s website, Hardy emphasized that the program was not a police program.

“This will not be a police investigation,” Hardy said. “This is an administrative process only.”

The creation of BIT comes on the heels of an outbreak of violent crimes last semester and directly after Damien Meheux, who murdered Jasmine Benjamin in 2012, was sentenced to life in prison.

“The whole goal of Behavioral Intervention is like building a puzzle,” Hardy said. “Oftentimes behavior seems a little out of the ordinary, and if we can try to fit the pieces together to make the complete picture, we can prevent escalation and violent episodes from occurring.”

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