Better definition of roles between schools and law enforcement. Coordinated emergency plans. Reliable, interoperable communication methods. Identification of potential risks and threats. Build trust with the media.
Those are some of the major conclusions of the recently released Campus Security Guidelines: Recommended Operational Policies for Local and Campus Law Enforcement Agencies prepared by the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association. The report contains some valuable information.
It suggests that both campus and local law enforcement agencies have formal policies and agreements outlining what the roles of each organization will be for specific incidents that might arise on campus.
The plan addresses the coordination of emergency plans and calls for local law enforcement to appoint a campus liaison officer to serve as the primary point of contact with campus safety. It also calls for regular meetings, joint training and exercises.
During an emergency, communication between agencies is critical. The report said local and campus law enforcement must find solutions for interoperable communications. It also calls on campus public safety personnel to be involved in planning sessions and exercises regarding regional law enforcement communications.
One of the more important points, in my judgment, is the call to identify potential risks and threats. This should begin with a risk assessment of each campus that involves security professionals with input from law enforcement.
And the report recommends local and campus law enforcement officials plan and practice joint media and public relations scenarios to learn how to work with the media during an emergency.
This is good stuff and should be on the reading list for campus administrators and law enforcement officials. The report can be found here.
Patrick Fiel is public safety advisor for ADT Security Services and a former executive director of school security for Washington, D.C. Public School System. He also served 22 years in the Army Military Police Corps, where his responsibilities included day-to-day security operations at the West Point Military Academy. During his time with ADT, Fiel has conducted more than 100 television, radio, newspaper, and magazine interviews as a public and school safety expert.
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