Threat assessment coordinator position remains unfilled

Last year, Wilton’s Security Task Force proposed that a new school security position — a threat assessment coordinator — be adopted in order to help detect potential school threats.
According to the job description presented at the Jan. 27, 2014, Board of Selectmen meeting, the threat assessment coordinator’s goal would be to detect, assess and manage internal threats to the schools.
“This would be a pretty advanced person,” Hal Clark, former second selectman and Security Task Force chair, told The Bulletin in February 2014. “We’re looking for someone with forensic psychology experience and preferably with an advanced degree.”
The preferred qualifications for the coordinator position include:

  • State of Connecticut certified clinical psychologist.

  • Forensic-specific clinical experience.

  • Minimum master’s degree in psychology or a related field.

  • Experience with threat and risk assessments.

  • Experience in creating and maintaining a positive school climate.

  • Experience working with adolescents in an educational setting.

  • Excellent written and oral communication.

  • Ability to collaborate and work cooperatively with staff, students and parents.

  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.


The Board of Education budgeted $85,000 for the position in its fiscal year 2015 budget. The position, however, remains unfilled.
Hiring season for the 2015-16 school year has begun in the district, and during the education board’s March 26 meeting, Human Resources and General Administration Director Susan Paley presented the district’s employment vacancy report.
Some of the vacant positions Paley mentioned included two curriculum coordinators and one administrator position, as well as a number of new positions as part of the district’s “new instructional approaches.”
When board member Lory Rothstein asked about the threat assessment coordinator position, Paley said there was “still a vacancy.”
“We have left that open and have posted that position with the American Psychological Association and continue our search for a forensic psychologist,” said Ms. Paley.
When Rothstein asked what the possibility is of finding someone for the position, Paley said that in her “professional opinion, it’s going to be highly unlikely.”
For someone with the credentials sought for the position, said Paley, it “doesn’t pay enough. It pays $70,000.”
Superintendent Kevin Smith said the possibility of not finding someone for the position is already being considered.
“We have already started talking about that eventuality,” he said, “and have looked into finding staff interested in training to take on responsibilities of the position.”
Smith said Assistant Superintendent Charles Smith has assumed the role as school climate coordinator and has been working with counselors at the high school.
The superintendent said the district is going to keep the position open a little bit longer.
“I think the opportunity here is trying to find the right person, and I’ve been suggesting we be patient in trying to find the right person,” he said, “but it’s not going to go on forever.”
The unused $85,000 budgeted for the threat assessment coordinator position will go into the board’s general fund for deficits.