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University of Missouri Statement on Campus Security Task Force Report


Christian Basi

August 21, 2007

Contact: Jennifer Hollingshead

Office: (573) 882-0601

E-mail: hollingsheadj@umsystem.edu

The University of Missouri welcomes and is reviewing the report issued Tuesday by Gov. Matt Blunt’s Campus Security Task Force. Dr. Gordon H. Lamb, Interim President of the four-campus UM system, said he was pleased to note that the University has achieved or exceeded many of the areas identified for improvement. Other recommendations of the Task Force, such as enhancing emergency mass notification technology, are being implemented, Dr. Lamb said.

“The University of Missouri must always be a safe place to learn, live, work and visit,” Dr. Lamb said. “We are absolutely committed to safety and the report of the Campus Security Task Force will provide additional guidance in this regard. I commend the Governor and the members of the Task Force for their leadership in helping to assure that campus safety is a top priority for Missouri.”

After the Virginia Tech shootings, Dr. Lamb established a University of Missouri committee to review campus and facility security. Dr. Lamb said that panel will review the new recommendations from the state Campus Security Task Force.

Among key findings from the Campus Security Task Force’s survey of 36 Missouri higher education institutions, and the University of Missouri’s status with regard to each survey finding:

  • Eighty-six percent of the institutions responding have developed an all-hazard emergency plan; the University of Missouri has such plans in place for all of its campuses.
  • Ninety-two percent of the institutions responding identified emergency notification as their greatest campus security challenge; the University of Missouri has emergency alert systems in place on its campuses, using e-mails, telephone calling trees and in-person contacts. Moreover, the University of Missouri is in final negotiations for an enhanced alert system with the ability to notify members of the University community by text message, e-mail, Web or phone.
  • The survey found just 28 percent of the institutions responding coordinate development of their all-hazard emergency plans with local police and just 25 percent engage their local fire departments in such coordination; all four University of Missouri campuses have close working and preparedness relationships with their local public safety agencies.
  • The survey found fewer than 40 percent of the institutions responding indicated their decision-makers had completed certain specialized training courses dealing with managing incidents; the University of Missouri has ongoing training for the people involved in such decisions, and the UM Campus Security Task Force is reviewing these protocols for potential improvements.
  • The survey found that about one-third of institutions responding had a process to identify and assess distressed individuals on campuses; the University of Missouri campuses have programs in place to assist students, faculty and staff. The best practices of these programs are being shared among the campuses.