Read the many testimonials below, both about The First Preventers Playbook as well as the First Preventers Program and Tools.

The First Preventers Playbook is essential reading for everyone. In the current landscape of violence, it is easy to feel disempowered and helpless, yet every person is capable of being a first preventer. In this important work, Rick Shaw demonstrates how we can prevent violence both as individuals and as a community.

Dr. Nathan Brooks – Forensic Psychologist and Senior Lecturer, CQUniversity Australia


For too long, we have ignored the signs of mass casualty attacks and refused to work together to “connect the dots.” Rick has given us a road map to do just that. Every community in the nation would benefit from the lessons that Rick is teaching. We need to work together to prevent attacks, not just respond to them—and this book shows us how.

Captain Kevin Griger – Sarpy County Sheriff Office


Mr. Shaw’s book provides easy reading and excellent guidance on the prevention of violent incidents at schools or in the workplace. Brief coverage of past events and the lessons learned leads into the need for and use of a threat assessment process. Its contents are beneficial for both those with and those without a background on the topic.

Branch Walton former Office of Naval Intelligence, Secret Service, College Professor and Corporate Security Director


Without question, this book will shape the future of violence prevention and positively change how we build our prevention architecture. For the first time, we now have the ability to develop actionable intelligence based on empirical data related to our day-to-day education and business operations. The First Preventers Playbook aptly provides decision makers with new insights and tools in their effort to better prevent elevated acts of violence. This community-wide approach to preventing acts of violence is long overdue and will allow us to make the data-driven decisions needed to provide the safety our students and workforces deserve.

Jason Thomas Destein – Violence Prevention Strategist, Adjunct Professor


Rick and I have had some interesting conversations over the years about prevention failures and improving intervention, disruption, and prevention efforts. His book is an excellent resource for anyone who is interested in how they can help their society prevent various acts of violence. Up until now, organizations in nearly every sector have not had the right tools, guidelines, and training so that anyone who is demonstrating warning signs (suicidal or homicidal) can be identified and helped before they escalate and attempt to do violence. Rick’s book delivers a research-based overview of the six distinct but overlapping stages of preventing acts of violence and other incidents before they happen.

By educating, empowering, and equipping first preventers to collect, assess, connect the dots, and take the right actions to disrupt at-risk individuals on the pathway to violence, more violent incidents and tragedies can be prevented, and fewer first responders will have to put their lives on the line.

A First Preventers Program is certainly needed, and Rick’s book certainly gives a comprehensive tool to do this. We need first preventers to assist and support first responders.

Totti Karpela, Director CTM, CETAP, Founding member of the European Threat Assessment Professionals Association


The First Preventers Playbook by Rick Shaw is a great tool for schools implementing threat assessment management and prevention plans to reduce school violence. As a retired public school administrator who worked closely with Rick to implement the tools described in his book, I can attest to the importance of “connecting the dots” to maintain a safe learning environment. Once we began to connect the dots more efficiently, we became both better at prevention and mitigation efforts and better at designing student safety plans in efforts to reduce suspension and dropout rates. As I travel across Oklahoma to consult and train staff in school violence and threat assessment, The First Preventer’s Playbook is absolutely in my tool bag.

Tenna Whitsel – Retired School Administrator


The First Preventers Playbook is an outstanding work that will help stop “bullying behaviors.” I’ve worked with Rick Shaw and utilized Awareity’s resources for many years now through our organization and have passed them on to more than 1,500 schools all across our nation. The research, thought, and work done by Rick and his team has helped save and change the lives of thousands of our kids. I’ve seen the direct results, so I know that I can honestly say this book will be a very valuable resource to any organization, school, administrator, teacher, or parent. Thank you, Rick, for helping our kids!

Kirk Smalley President/Co-Founder of Stand for The Silent


Human history is a chronicle of violence and the efforts to manage it. We are fully aware of many violent acts such as the Columbine massacre, 9/11, and numerous workplace incidents. The primary approaches to violence have been focused on installing security systems and implementing response strategies. However, the most effective way to face any disaster, even the current COVID-19 pandemic, is prevention. This playbook for violence prevention by Rick Shaw is exactly what we need to effectively manage human-made disasters. The book makes significant contributions with clearly designed network-based prevention systems that are supported by advanced technologies and “how-to” steps for prevention based on the numerous real-world experiences of experts. It is a must-read for school administrators, teachers, parents, business executives, government leaders, and all of us.

Professor Sang M. Lee, Distinguished University Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln