Wisconsin Department of Justice
Press Release

Attorney General Kaul Recognizes #SeeSayDay, Highlights Recent Speak Up, Speak Out Success Story

September 25, 2023

By - Sep 25th, 2023 10:52 am

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul today is raising awareness of #SeeSayDay, a campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security designed to remind the public to be aware of suspicious activity and how to report it to law enforcement. The Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of School Safety (OSS) offers Speak Up, Speak Out (SUSO), a 24/7 statewide confidential reporting system free to all Wisconsin schools for students or community members to report concerns.

“Reporting suspicious or concerning behavior can help save lives,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “Through Speak Up, Speak Out, Wisconsin’s DOJ’s Office of School Safety is helping make it easy for students, teachers, and parents to proactively seek assistance for those in need and to prevent violence from occurring.”

Two separate tips were recently submitted to SUSO, informing SUSO analysts that someone made threats of violence to their school on social media. The tips were delivered to the school, local law enforcement was contacted, and a suspect was located and taken into custody. Law enforcement’s response ensured that no violence occurred, and that harm to the school was averted. Having two separate tips on the same incident indicates a healthy reporting culture at the school.

Reporting concerning behavior is key to preventing violence and planned attacks. Acts of targeted violence are not impulsive or irrational; rather the perpetrators of these incidents decide to commit violence and often undertake clear processes of planning and preparing in which threats or potentially concerning behaviors can be identified. OSS partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis, National Threat Evaluation and Reporting Office earlier this year to provide an eLearning module for the public titled, “Foundations of Targeted Violence Prevention.” The goal of the course is to educate the public on threatening or potentially concerning behaviors and where to report them, providing an opportunity for intervention to prevent targeted violence from occurring.

Students, parents, school staff, or any community members can submit a school safety concern or threat via the SUSO website, mobile phone application, or toll-free number.

SUSO Reports can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

An additional option to report suspicious activity is through the Wisconsin Statewide Intelligence Center (WSIC), operated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation. WISC serves as the primary focal point for threat information sharing among federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement, emergency management, fire service, public health, corrections, military, and private sector partners for the state. State and regional fusion centers enable local, state, and tribal governments to gather, process, analyze and share information and intelligence relating to all crimes and all hazards. Anyone can report suspicious activity to WSIC through the Suspicious Activity Reporting form online.

About the Office of School Safety

OSS was initially supported by more than $2 million in federal grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance. OSS is currently supported by more than $1.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding which were expected to end in December of 2023. Wisconsin DOJ requested the legislature permanently fund OSS in the recent biennial budget, but the request went unfilled. After Wisconsin DOJ’s request went unfilled by the legislature, Wisconsin DOJ re-allocated $1,340,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to extend the operations of OSS including the Speak Up, Speak Out 24-hour tipline, critical incident response teams, and threat assessment consultation. The re-allocated money will fund OSS through the end of 2024.

View this press release on the Wisconsin DOJ website here.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

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