Florida Panel Releases Campus Safety Recommendations

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Florida gubernatorial commission on college safety released its findings last week and made several recommendations regarding information sharing; mental health; campus law enforcement training, equipment and staffing; and incident plans.

The key points include:

  • Greater information sharing should take place both on campus and with local authorities, especially when a student is seen to be at risk. Organizational and legal barriers, which impede the flow of necessary information must be removed. Campuses should implement programs of awareness and education relating to mental health and campus safety which target faculty, staff, students, and parents.
  • Each college and university should have in place a process to foster and integrate the sharing of information between law enforcement, student affairs, residential housing, counseling center, health center, legal counsel, and other appropriate campus entities, and ensure a timely, effective, and coordinated response to students in crisis.
  • Our campuses and our communities should focus more attention and resources on preventing mental health issues than simply responding to critical incidents.
  • Each college and university should ensure that its law enforcement or campus security agency is well trained, well equipped and adequately staffed to deal with critical incidents and campus emergencies.
  • Each college and university should ensure that its emergency and critical incident plans are up-to-date, comprehensive,and regularly exercised. Local agencies and the State’s seven Regional Domestic Security Task Forces should play a major role in the development and implementation of such plans.

The executive summary can be found online at http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/campusSecurity/docs/exec_summary_final052407.pdf. The entire report can be found at http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/campusSecurity/finalReport.shtml.

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