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Welcome to the SafeDefend Academy Blog!

May 04, 2023

We are proud to introduce the SafeDefend Academy, which focuses on educating and training our partners in threat assessment, threat prevention, and threat response in school, workplace, and higher education settings. This ongoing blog is about how to assess, prevent, and respond to active killer threats, which is the heart of what we do at SafeDefend. No other company has this end-to-end focused approach to dealing with planned lethal violence. This end-to-end approach views this type of targeted violence in terms of both prevention and response and its complimentary proactive and reactive measures.

We believe in providing our clients with the ability to be proactive and reactive in dealing with potential active killer events. We offer both education (knowledge) and training (skills building) courses that offer the best chance of successfully preventing violence, as well as effectively responding to it. Our approach is based on cutting-edge research and evidence-based practices.

The SafeDefend Academy is led by Dr. Gregory M. Vecchi, who has a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and over 30 years of law enforcement experience. Dr. Vecchi is the retired Chief of the FBI Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) and a career crisis and hostage negotiator, and he understands violence prevention and intervention.

Dr. Vecchi has implemented a similar approach used by the FBI BSU in understanding the mindset and motivation of offenders to determine the meaning behind active killer behavior in developing world-class training at SafeDefend. Dr. Vecchi has also incorporated the proven methodology of research-training-consultation, whereby research drives training and training drives consultation (threat assessment, threat prevention, and threat response operations). Any gaps in efficiency or effectiveness identified during training and consultation are then fed back into the research, and the cycle repeats.

We believe that the basis of efficiency and effectiveness in skills training is the ability to function under distress. This means that the training must work when a person experiences the Body Alarm Response (BAR), otherwise known as the freeze, flight, or fight response. This occurs when the sympathetic nervous system takes over, triggering the release of adrenaline, causing increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing, as well as tunnel vision and auditory exclusion. During this situation, the ability to think and use fine motor skills is significantly diminished, and performance is reduced to the muscle memory developed during training. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all training works as a conditioned response during crisis and emergency situations.

We hope that you enjoy our blog, and we invite you to join in the discussion! 

Thank you! 

Gregory M. Vecchi, Ph.D.

Director of Training

SafeDefend Academy

[email protected]


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