Diaz-Balart, Deutch Introduce Bill to Expand National Threat Assessment Center to Include School Violence Prevention Initiatives
WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) and Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) introduced the EAGLES Act, legislation to expand the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) with a greater focus on school violence prevention.
The NTAC provides research and training for threat assessment and targeted violence, including school shootings and other school threats. This legislation creates a national program on targeted school violence prevention, including by expanding the NTAC's research and training on school violence and its dissemination of information on school violence prevention initiatives.
The Senate companion was introduced by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
“Over the years, I have been personally involved in working towards making our communities and schools a safer place,” said Congressman Diaz-Balart. “The safety of our children is of the utmost importance for every family. All parents should feel confident that when they drop their child off at school, that child is in a safe environment. That is why school safety should remain a top priority in our country, and that begins by taking the appropriate measures to prevent targeted violence and school violence. I am honored to co-lead this legislation, and I thank Congressman Deutch for his leadership on this issue.”
"The Secret Service's Threat Assessment Center was created to help train communities to prevent the kinds of targeted violence that threaten them. Sadly, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School endured a tragedy that resulted in the loss of 17 Eagles. This bill will prevent violence in other communities across the country," said Congressman Deutch. "We should use this effective model of assessing threats and developing trainings in order to prevent any more school shootings in any other community. I'm proud of this bipartisan plan to leverage some of our government's best resources to tackle this heart-breaking and preventable crisis."
“The National Threat Assessment Center has been essential to thwarting mass shooters and targeted violence since it was first created in 2008. The EAGLES Act is a critical expansion of the program that prioritizes school violence and directs key funding to prevent the next mass school shooting,” said Tony Montalto, President of Stand with Parkland and father of Gina Montalto one of the 17 people murdered at school in the 2018 Parkland shooting. “We need to be more proactive and less reactive — our children’s lives are at stake. This bipartisan effort underscores the importance of school safety and ensures nationwide research and training to stop the next attack before it happens. Our nation’s lawmakers must join together to keep staff members and students safe at school. After the Parkland shooting, many American leaders said things needed to change. We saw Congress and the Trump administration come together last year to take the first steps to protect our nation’s students and staff members with the passage of the STOP School Violence Act. More needs to be done and working together for positive change is the only way to make lasting and significant improvements. Similar bipartisan Eagles Act bills are now available in both the House and Senate hopefully we will see them debated and voted upon in a timely fashion, and finally presented to the President for his signature."