Governor Matt Blunt (R-MO) has released the recommendations of the 29-member Campus Security Task Force that was set up in response to the deadly shooting spree on the campus of Virginia Tech University.
The report contains 33 recommendations to deal with the potential of a similar tragedy occurring on a college campus in Missouri. Among the recommendations: Each campus should have a designated individual to coordinate emergency and homeland security operations; Each institution’s chief executive officer should ensure that an all-hazard emergency response plan is in place, and; All members of the campus community should have access to on-campus mental health services. The Governor adds there must be a free exchange of information and ideas among those who are on the lookout for individuals or behaviors that might be harmful to the campus community.
Public Safety Director Mark James, Co-Chair of the Task Force, says it is imperative that students and faculty on each campus be aware of the emergency plan that will be enacted in the event of a campus catastrophe. He says they must plan, practice, and know who the emergency preparedness players are prior to a tragedy.
Higher Education Commissioner Robert Stein, the other Co-Chair, concedes it is impossible to prevent all future crises from occurring, but says the necessary steps must be taken to reduce the likelihood that such tragedies will happen, and to reduce the impact of those crises when the do occur.