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Emory hosts event to build collaboration between mental health, public safety professionals
Group photo

Emory participants in the Association of Threat Assessments Professionals’ February event pose with ATAP Southeast chapter president Ben Zeifman (far right). They include (left to right) Sam Shartar, Cheryl Elliott, Sanjay Shah, Adriana Flores, Julie Rand Dorney, Thomas Manns, Eva Rodriguez and Karimah Fanning.

Threat assessment professionals gathered at Emory on Feb. 15 for a panel discussion aimed at enhancing collaboration between mental health providers and law enforcement officers to shape a more empathetic, efficient system for those in crisis. 

Emory Public Safety, Emory Police Department and Emory’s Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) hosted the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals for the organization’s Southeast chapter February event.

“Emory has had a multi-disciplinary threat team in place since 2008, in which our philosophy is addressing potential concerns in their early phases and working towards maintaining a safe and secure environment,” notes Sam Shartar, senior director of operations for CEPAR and lead chair of the Emory Enterprise Threat Assessment Team.

Three adjunct faculty members from Emory’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences provided a multi-level presentation on “Crisis to Care — Integrating Police Processes to Mental Health Procedures for Involuntary Hospitalization.” Presenters included Sanjay Shah, JD, PhD, adjunct assistant professor; Julie Rand Dorney, MD, adjunct associate professor; and Adriana Flores, PhD, adjunct associate professor.

The event provided attendees with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding crisis intervention and involuntary hospitalization. More than 60 professionals representing The Coca-Cola Company, Georgia Tech, Ernst & Young, Georgia Emergency Management, Homeland Security Agency and other institutions were present for the in-person gathering, along with more than 100 virtual attendees who tuned in. 

In addition to the panelists, Emory attendees included behavioral health professionals from Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Intervention Services, the Office of Respect and more.

“Threat Assessment is something we take seriously here [at Emory],” says Emory Police Chief Burt Buchtinec, discussing the importance of collaborative events such as this one.

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