Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

Targeted Violence Lethality Assessment Protocol

Research has found that most perpetrators of targeted violence exhibited concerning behavior and/or communicated their plan to cause harm to others prior to their deadly attack (Fein et al., 2004; NTAC, 2019; NTAC, 2020). These types of law enforcement encounters represent an opportunity for an officer to evaluate the level of concern a threatening individual poses and provide a referral for additional resources.

Derived from the U.S. Secret Service and Department of Education’s questions for threat assessment (Fein et al., 2004), the Targeted Violence Lethality Assessment Protocol (TV-LAP) is a tool for exploring the potential risk an individual poses for engaging in targeted violence or radicalizing to terrorism and should be used during a law enforcement officer’s call about a person of concern. This tool was developed in partnership with the University of Colorado Police Department (CUPD), University of Colorado Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS), Boulder District Attorney, Anti-Defamation League, and Out Boulder County, and consists of 12 questions and follow-up cues meant to help officers, co-responders, and agencies respond to, refer out, and handle threatening individuals. 

Contact Info

If you have questions about the protocol or training, please contact CUPD Deputy Chief Mark Heyart at or CSPV Research Professor Dr. Sarah Goodrum at

Violence Prevention Project