The Safe and Secure Campus
Toward Safer and Stronger Campus Communities
- By Ellen Kollie
- June 1st, 2016
PHOTO © KEN WOLTER/SHUTTERSTOCK
In 2013, congress appropriated funding through the Bureau of Justice Assistance for the creation
of an organization that could serve as a clearinghouse of
information for campus public safety. The organization is the
National Center for Campus Public Safety (National Center, www.nccpsafety.org), headquartered in Burlington, VT. College Planning& Management recently spoke with Kim Richmond, National
Center director, about how the organization is accomplishing its
goals and serving its constituency.
CPM: What was the need that led to the formation of the
Richmond: The National Center for Campus Public Safety was
established with a $2.3 million bipartisan grant from the U.S. Department
of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). 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 Burlington, VTbased
Margolis Healy, a national consulting
firm specializing in campus safety, security
and regulatory compliance for higher education
The National Center became a reality after
nearly a decade of discussion within the
public safety community. In 2004, The National
Summit on Campus Public Safety was
held in Baltimore. The summit provided an
opportunity for discussion and collaboration
on more than 20 key campus safety
issues. One of the recommendations that
came out of the Summit was the need for a
National Center for Campus Public Safety
because there was not a centralized location
for the myriad campus public safety
resources and initiatives being undertaken
nationwide or for the fulfillment of critical
CPM: How did the Center get its start?
Richmond: Once funding was awarded
to Margolis Healy, the acquisition of office
space and hiring staff began. An advisory
board was established that consists
of representatives of the International
Association of Campus Law Enforcement
Administrators (IACLEA), the International
Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) College
and University Section, the International
Association of Emergency Managers
(IAEM), the Virginia Tech Victim (VTV)
Family Outreach Foundation and the Clery
Center for Security on Campus. The board’s
role is to help shape the national agenda
and priorities for the National Center. Once
the positions of director, research associates,
and training and technical assistance
coordinator were filled, we began developing
content for our website and developing
CPM: What has the National Center accomplished
in the short time it has been in
Richmond: Our original deliverables
changed just as we opened our offices. In
the Not Alone report, the White House
Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual
Assault charged National Center with
developing a Trauma-Informed Sexual
Assault Investigation and Adjudication
curriculum for campus officials. To meet
this mandate, we have worked with nationally
recognized subject matter experts
in the fields of sexual and gender-based
violence investigations, Title IX, the Clery
Act, victim’s advocacy, student conduct
and psychology to develop and deliver
an educational program based on this
That was our big priority in addition to
getting the website up and going. Our website
is fully functional and is a robust source
- We work with our federal partners and
other nonprofit organizations and affiliates
who all have done good work and
produced documents. We have relevant,
fully searchable information compiled in
- We have a calendar of events that provides
information regarding various training
opportunities relevant to campus training
in safety nationwide.
- We launched a free webinar series last year,
Campus Public Safety Online. To date, we
have provided 10 webinars for free to the
public on various topics, including threat assessment, global safety/study abroad and sexual assault. All of
our webinars are free and archived on our website.
- We have an “info at” email address and personally answer calls
that come in requesting information. An example of a recent
request was regarding the pros and cons of using body-worn cameras.
Our research associates compiled all the relevant information
on the topic and forwarded it to the requester in a timely manner.
We have also accomplished smaller, but no less important,
initiatives. For example, our research associates write Weekly
Snapshot, a weekly email communication delivered to our opt-in
email list. We choose two topics each week and put together a
couple of paragraphs that include quick links to resources. They’re
concise briefings, which are helpful.
We have published white papers in partnership with others.
Our Guide to Social Media in the Education Environment is
intended to help those interested in the safety and security of a
school district, college or university with insight into the use and
impact of social media. The guide provides information on social
media and its uses in educational settings, as well as the benefits
and challenges; threat alert services and procedures to consider
when a threat is received; prevention strategies and guidelines you
can share; and developing a social media policy.
Two Title IX Summits were held to bring together campus officials
from around the country to discuss unresolved issues around
Title IX and other related legislation, including the Clery Act and
the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) amendments. Campus
police administrators, deans of students, Title IX staff, Clery staff
and others met to work toward better compliance — not only
with the letter of the law but, far more importantly, with the spirit
of the law. Summit participants created a comprehensive list of
issues and promising practices to consider. Two documents were
produced from these discussions and are available on our website.
We have facilitated 13 focus group discussions involving hundreds
of college and university officials and partners on the topics
of Clery Act compliance, off-campus policing, global safety and
In partnership with the International Association of Emergency
Management, Disaster Resilient Universities Network and the
Community Service Center at the University of Oregon, we have
conducted a Higher Education National Emergency Management
Needs Assessment survey. Promising practices and policy recommendations
generated from the findings will be vetted with key
stakeholders, including university presidents and federal officials.
CPM: What is the National Center working on now?
Richmond: We have further focus group discussions planned.
Future topics will be marijuana legalization impacts on campus,
campus carry legislation, urban campus policing and international
We are partnering with the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid
Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University to
provide 10 Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE)
Train-the-Trainer courses specifically to college and university
campuses across the nation, which started in April 2016. CRASE
course participants receive essential tools for training campuses,
schools, businesses and community members on their response
options if confronted with an active shooter event.
We are also working on our sustainability plan. We are developing
a certificate program that will be a professional development
opportunity for those tasked with campus safety on campus.
Our free webinar series will continue and expand with additional
paid offerings launching later this year.
CPM: What else would you like to share with the readers of College
Planning & Management?
Richmond: I can’t overemphasize the importance of the partnerships
we’ve developed with federal agencies, nonprofit groups,
for-profit organizations and professional associations. We have
developed efficient relationships and are working collaboratively to
improve campus safety. There are a lot of folks doing a lot of good
work across the nation in the interest of campus safety.
This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of College Planning & Management.