On June 18, 2014, The National Center for Campus Public Safety (NCCPS) officially opened their Burlington, Vermont offices with an open house. It was an exciting day, not only for our staff, but for the many key partners who have worked tirelessly to make the National Center a reality for a decade.
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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 was 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), recent issues of firearms on college campuses, and 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 institutes of higher learning (IHEs) in their efforts to enhance security and readiness on campuses.
In March of 2013, Congress provided funding to the Bureau of Justice Assistance (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 were awarded to Margolis Healy and Associates, LLC in the fall of 2013.
The National Center will be a resource for campus police chiefs, directors of public safety, emergency managers and key campus safety stakeholders. With this in mind, the National Center will be 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.
The Center will work closely with BJA to:
After receiving final approval of their funding in December of 2013, Margolis Healy and Associates has secured office space for the Center, hired National Center Director, and begun the process of hiring support staff (Training & Technical Assistance Coordinator; two Research Associates (2); and two National Center Fellows).
An advisory board has also been established, and Margolis Healy has been in regular contact with members as the majority served on the director search committee. The first official meeting of the Advisory Board is scheduled for spring 2014. The Advisory Board consists of representatives from:
Margolis Healy has also met with the Campus Public Safety Interagency Coordination Group, a group of federal agencies engaged in the work of campus safety. In addition to BJA, the working group is comprised of representatives from US Department of Justice (including FBI, Community Oriented Policing Services, Office for Victims of Crime, National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office on Violence Against Women), Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Department of Education. The interagency group will help guide the work of the National Center.
Representatives of Margolis Healy have also spoken, and continue to speak, at numerous meetings and conferences promoting the National Center and how it will assist campus safety professionals to protect the nation’s colleges and universities.
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