With over 15 million students and several million more faculty and staff at U.S. institutions of higher education, it is not surprising that campus safety is of great interest to the public, and the public safety community. BJA has been a leader in providing resources to the field to help insure that the nation’s college and university campuses are safe and secure.Overview:Campus Public Safety services vary greatly on the nation's college and university campuses. Campus law enforcement agencies include full-service police departments (both armed and unarmed), private security operations, contractual services, and more. Campus police departments also vary greatly in how they relate to and share information with local and state public safety agencies.While high profile incidents like the 2007 Virginia Tech and 2008 Northern Illinois University shootings receive the attention of the media and government officials, this type of incident is actually the exception rather than the rule. Parents, students, and faculty deal with a variety of lower profile, but no less important, campus safety issues daily. These include:
BJA has worked with our partners in the field to develop a variety of resources that address the diverse make-up of campus law enforcement departments that will assist them in addressing all forms of campus public safety concerns.
Recent Campus Projects Funded by BJA:
National Center for Campus Public Safety: The National Center is a resource for campus police chiefs, directors of public safety, emergency managers and key campus safety stakeholders. With this in mind, the National Center is a catalyst that brings together all forms of campus public safety, professional associations, advocacy organizations, community leaders, and others to improve and expand services to those who are charged with providing a safe environment on the campuses of the nation's colleges and universities.
Background: In 2004, the National Summit on Campus Public Safety was held in Baltimore, Maryland. The summit provided an opportunity for discussion and collaboration on more than 20 key issues. One of the recommendations to come out of the Summit was the need for a National Center for Campus Public Safety (National Center) because there is no one location for the myriad campus public safety resources and initiatives being undertaken nationwide, or for the fulfillment of critical information needs. With the many challenges currently facing campus safety professionals, the complexity of the environment has never been greater. The Center is needed to assist campus public safety leaders in navigating this environment.
Since the tragedy at Virginia Tech in April 2007, several additional high profile incidents have adversely affected college and university campuses. These incidents range from natural disasters such as hurricanes and super storms to other rampage shooting incidents. In addition, concerns for the prevention of sexual and gender violence on campus (Title IX); challenges in Clery Act compliance, etc. all contribute to the opportunity for a central repository of safety and security information, technical assistance and training. These concerns highlight the need for a National Center that provides technical assistance to institutions of higher education in their efforts to enhance security and readiness on campus.
In March of 2013, Congress provided funding to BJA for the creation of the National Center. In consultation with key stakeholders and federal partners, BJA developed a competitive solicitation and received proposals to create and host the National Center. Through this process, a cooperative agreement and subsequent funding was awarded to Margolis Healy and Associates, LLC (MHA).
The Center works closely with BJA to:
Accomplishments: During its first year of operation, the National Center made substantial progress in addressing several critical issues identified by campus public safety leaders. Key accomplishments include the following:
Developing and Delivering a Trauma-informed Sexual Assault Investigation and Adjudication Training Program
Identifying Strategies for Enhancing Implementation of the Clery Act/Title IX
Informing Community Policing and the Use of Technology and Social Media
Creating a Clearinghouse to Help Campus Public Safety Officials Improve Security
Promoting the National Center to the Campus Public Safety Community National Center staff have presented to hundreds of public safety and higher education officials at leading conferences such as:
Weekly Communication with the Campus Safety Community
Since its creation, the National Center has hosted a number of Emerging Issues Forums on topics such as Policy Development and Implementation of Legislation Permitting the Carrying of Concealed Handguns on College and University Campuses, Campus Protests and Demonstrations: The Role of Emergency Management, Challenges in Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence at American Community Colleges, among others.
See NCCPS Key Accomplishments: July 1, 2014 to March 31, 2019 for a complete list of the National Center's accomplishments.
NCCPS Key Accomplishments: July 1, 2014 to March 31, 2019 The National Center for Campus Public Safety is focused on campus public safety and emergency management challenges to identify solutions. Learn more about its accomplishments during the past 5 years.
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Resources for Campus Public Safety from Projects Funded Previously by BJA:Campus Public Order Roundtable – In December 2012, BJA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly sponsored a Campus Public Order Focus Group Meeting in Madison, WI. Participants discussed issues related to civil disorder on college and university campuses, explored resultant policy implications, and identified promising practices for promoting order while preserving privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties in the midst of public protests. Key issues identified during the discussions were noted and a summary was completed and distributed to the campus public safety and law enforcement community.Campus Security Roundtable: Securing University and College Spectator Events - In December 2011, BJA, the FBI, as well as DHS jointly sponsored a Campus Security Focus Group of experienced university police leaders to identify promising practices for providing security at campus spectator events. The meeting was a discussion of promising practices that can supplement an existing security plan to minimize the probability of an incident, aid in apprehension of violent offenders, and maximize the ability to respond to an incident that may occur at large spectator events on college campuses. A summary report was completed and distributed to the campus public safety and law enforcement community.Contact David Adams for additional information about the Roundtable events.Basic Campus Crime Prevention Course: A collaboration with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), this three-day basic course is designed for front-line campus personnel and campus crime prevention practitioners and includes best practices in college crime prevention, lighting, security surveys, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), residence hall and housing security, and available crime prevention resources.Advanced Campus Crime Prevention Course: Another collaborative project with NCPC, the advanced course is a one and one-half day course that provides key information, best practices, strategies, and explores the financial benefits of establishing a campus crime prevention program. It is intended to help campus executives and administrators create an action plan designed to reduce campus crime. This will be achieved through the application of comprehensive risk assessment and liability methodologies and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles.IACP Model Policy: Active Shooter: This model policy developed by BJA and IACP in July 2007 and updated in January 2014 is available on the secure IACP web site. The policy, for responding officers at active shooting and similar deadly force incidents, provides protocols for assessing the threat and performing intervention tactics to limit serious injury or loss of life.State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) for College Law Enforcement: This is a one- to two-day workshop designed to provide terrorism awareness training to campus law enforcement personnel. Course topics are tailored to the specific concerns of college and university campuses and include terrorism indicators, domestic and international terrorist/extremist groups, violent radicalization, and officer safety issues.Major Cities Campus Security Guidelines: MCC and BJA developed the Campus Security Guidelines in order to make a genuine difference in how law enforcement prevents, prepares, responds to and recovers from critical incidents on campus. The Guidelines are real operational policies, developed by the experts—local and campus law enforcement—that can be implemented across the nation. The guidelines include model Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) that can be used to assist campus law enforcement to better coordinate with their counterparts in towns, counties, and cities in protecting their campuses.
Community Involvement in Campus Safety: This initiative focuses on campus safety through the use of volunteers as an expansion of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Volunteer in Police Service (VIPS) work. IACP developed new resources to help law enforcement agencies engage volunteers to enhance campus safety. The video Community Involvement in Campus Safety and the Volunteers in Policing (VIPS) Resource Guide supplemental chapter VIPS in a College or University Setting provide case studies, best practices, and resources to start or enhance your campus safety program.
National Center for Campus Public Safety
NCJRS: Campus Safety Special Feature
U.S. Department of Education: Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS): Campus Law Enforcement
Campus Crime Prevention
More BJA Publications
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Campus Security Guidelines: Recommended Operational Policies for Local and Campus Law Enforcement Agencies NCJ 230703, BJA and the Major Cities Chiefs Association, September 2009. The Campus Security Guidelines provide law enforcement with recommendations to improve the ongoing relationships with campus public safety and major city police departments.
Hate Crimes on Campus: The Problem and Efforts To Confront It NCJ 187249, BJA, Margaret MOss, Steven Wessler, October 2001. This monograph examines four aspects of the problem of bias, prejudice, and hate crimes on American college and university campuses.
Social Media & School Violence Training
The National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), with support from BJA, is offering online training for law enforcement on the intersection of social media and school violence. The training is divided into six sections: a case study, historical perspective, evolution of online social networks, interactions with ISPs, emerging trends, and interacting in social communities.
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