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DOJ Funds National Center for Campus Public Safety

The United States Department of Justice has awarded a $2.3 million grant to a company in Burlington affiliated with the University of Vermont to create a National Center for Campus Public Safety. The goal of the Center will be to serve as a "one-stop shop" for campus public safety, acting as a think tank and training facility for policy development, model practices, operations, and research.

According to a bid solicitation issued in May 2013, the Center will work with Justice to support colleges and universities as a resource for policy development, model practices, operations, and research on how to enhance campus safety.

The Center is expected to deliver training and technical assistance to campus security teams, student affairs professionals, and others and coordinate resources relevant to the safety of students and teachers.

"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," the solicitation stated. "With the many challenges currently facing campus safety professionals, the complexity of the environment has never been greater. The National Center is needed to assist campus public safety leaders in navigating this environment."

Development of the center was spurred by the 2007 shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech University, as well as other incidents that have happened on college and university campuses since then.

The grant is expected to cover two years of operations. Based on performance, supplemental funding may be added to the original grant.

The center will be run by Margolis Healy, a campus security consultancy set up by a former U Vermont police chief, Gary Margolis, and a former director of public safety at Princeton U, Steven Healy. Customers of Margolis Healy have included dozens of schools around the country, including Tulane University, Babson College, and the University of Idaho.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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