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Oklahoma Task Force Calls for Increased Campus Security Spending

Oklahoma's Campus Life and Safety and Security (CLASS) Task Force next week will present Gov. Brad Henry with the results of its seven-month study on the state of campus security in Oklahoma. Among the recommendations, released in draft form this week, are calls for increased spending on security in post-secondary institutions and greater collaboration between higher education, law enforcement, and mental health professionals.

The CLASS Task Force was established last April in Oklahoma in response to the shootings at Virginia Tech to evaluate the status of safety and security on the state's campuses and to make recommendations for improvements. The 15-member group is headed up by Glen D. Johnson, chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education (chairman), and Phil Berkenbile, director of the Department of Career and Technology Education (vice chairman). Other members include representatives from higher education, public safety, and health services.

One of the most significant recommendations to come from the task force was a call to increase spending on safety and security from the present level of about $24.7 million to $40 million for public post-secondary institutions (which include career technology centers). Other recommendations included:
  • The creation of threat-assessment task forces;
  • Improvements in emergency notification systems;
  • Emergency response training and drills for staff; and
  • An increase in the number of mental health professionals working on campuses.
The draft of the report did not include a recommendation for banning guns on campuses in the state. However, it was reported this week that such a recommendation might make its way into the final report, to be delivered Jan. 15.

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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