Relationship with Law Enforcement and First Responders and Training for Campus Public Safety Officers

In addition to the staff of campus Public Safety Officers, the University has a contract with the Springfield Police Department (SPD) which provides for a SPD substation located on the Missouri State University campus. The SPD substation is co-located with the Department of Safety and Transportation at 636 E. Elm. The FY08 contract totals $580,408, and includes funding for ten assigned SPD officers as well as necessary equipment and vehicles. The arrangement is rather unique among colleges and universities. While Missouri State University Public Safety Officers are not armed or commissioned, SPD officers assigned to the Missouri State substation are.

The Task Force recommends:

  1. The number of armed officers on campus should be increased. This can best be accomplished through a gradual increase in the University’s annual contract with SPD. Ideally, the number of officers made available to serve the university should be at least doubled. It will be necessary to work closely with SPD to coordinate the phased implementation of this recommendation.
  2. Faculty and staff should be trained, on a voluntary basis, to serve as "First Responders." Such an approach would necessitate a change in the academic workplace culture and require an understanding that both faculty and staff will most likely be the first line of defense in a hostile intruder situation. Certainly the necessary guidance, training and support will need to be provided for this cultural shift. In addition, due consideration and emphasis will need to be given to the appropriate role of faculty members in the academic environment. The emphasis will be on prevention through the reporting of information to law enforcement agencies and superiors. First Responders play an extremely important role because the response time of law enforcement personnel to an emergency situation on campus is estimated to be approximately eight minutes. The training outlined in the following paragraphs addresses all three phases of Emergency Planning, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery to support University employees as part of the "First Responders" Team. The recommended training programs would be implemented and phased in over the next 15 – 18 months to support of the University’s Emergency Plans and Program. It is recommended that the following training for all faculty and staff at all levels of responsibility be offered:
    1. New Hire Orientation – Overview of the Emergency Response Plan to include Mandated Reporting. Training can be included as a part of the New Hire Orientation process and information about the Emergency Response Plan should be included in all academic class syllabi. In addition, drills and tabletop exercises should be conducted on a regular basis to assist in this learning process. Policies and procedures will need to be developed and implemented to support a "Designated" or "Mandated" Reporter program to aid in prevention and the initial response. The costs for adding a program to New Hire Orientation are:
      • Online Training Program: $1600
      • Brochure: $1500 initial costs for distribution for new hires and current employees. Reoccurring costs for any updates on a bi-annual basis after implementation would be $1200.
    2. SHARP (Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Training) - The University currently offers 8 – 10 sessions a year for faculty, staff, and students with the support of the Department of Safety and Transportation and Campus Recreation. The recommendation is to increase offerings and modify curriculum to include general self-defense techniques for both men and women. The University currently has five certified instructors. The number of offerings could be expanded based on demand by University faculty, staff, and students. Costs for this program are:
      • Cost per additional session (20 participants): $480.00 to cover salary of instructors, materials, and room rental.
      • Instructor Certification: Instructors are certified every three years at a cost of $400 per instructor.
    3. Prepare Training Program - This program is designed to assist organizations in meeting their violence prevention and intervention objectives. The strategies in this course are designed to help reduce frequency and severity of crisis situations. Participants acquire the skills to effectively respond to anxious, irrational, angry, hostile, or potentially dangerous behavior, and minimize the negative impact of challenging encounters. This course is designed to certify instructors within the organization who provide the training to others on an as needed basis at a cost of $15.00 per person. The course would be included in the Human Resources training schedule and available by request for individual departments. The costs associated with the implementation of this program are:
      • Instructor Certifications: $14,000 for six instructors. No recertification needed. Cost for the instructor certification may be reduced by opening up the Certification Training to other educational institutions or government agencies in Southwest Missouri for attendance.
      • Individual Sessions (30 Participants): Ranging in costs from $600 - $1300 per session depending upon modules selected.

      Please see Appendix D for a full description of course content and program implementation

  3. Additional training for University personnel who serve in leadership roles, as emergency managers, or as response personnel should be provided. This would include training for safety officers, administrative and academic department heads, key faculty and staff designated in the Emergency Response Plan, and building coordinators. One of the objectives is to greatly increase knowledge of and familiarity with the University’s Emergency Response Plan. It is suggested by the task force that this should be implemented no later than spring of 2008. (See Appendix E)

    It is recommended that different levels of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) training for key personnel be utilized. NIMS, a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), was developed to enable responders from different jurisdictions and disciplines to work together in responding to emergency situations. As noted by Michael and Chris Dorn in their recent article, "To be competent in handling a major catastrophic event, all key administrative staff (like the president, safety director/police chief, deans, department heads, and crisis team members) must receive formal training in NIMS, incorporate NIMS into their written plans, and practice utilizing NIMS during drills and exercises." (24) Related actions which should be taken include joint training exercises with SPD, Greene County, and other local agencies, to include table-top training and an annual exercise to test plans.

    The NIMS training will be presented in a blended learning situation to include both online, classroom sessions, and tabletop exercises. The costs for the training are:

    • Online Training: No Cost
    • Classroom Training: The classroom training is provided by individuals or agencies supported through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on a grant basis. If SEMA is unable to support the University, costs will be incurred for an instructor and materials at approximately $15 per person per course, or approximately $8,000.00 for the two classroom sessions.
    • Tabletop Exercises and Drills: Included in the additional costs for the Department of Safety and Transportation to conduct these exercises.

    These types of training will require additional administrative support for monitoring participation, coordinating classroom sessions, and communicating the requirement to the University community, along with the time commitment by the participants. Please refer to Appendix E for detail outline of course materials, requirements, and schedule.

  4. Training for all campus Public Safety Officers should focus on prevention and response. A program should be established that provides the layout and response procedures to outside emergency response agencies. The emphasis would be to first utilize officers and agencies already familiar with the campus (SPD substation officers and campus Public Safety Officers).
  5. It is recommended that strong consideration should be given to purchasing a "Lead Tracking System" to be used as a record management system to track incidents and activities on a daily basis during a crisis to assist with crime analysis response time and resolution.
  6. An extremely important element is to recognize the need for a recovery phase for attending officers, employees, and organizations involved in an emergency situation. Procedures should be established to make available necessary mental health and community support groups as a part of the recovery process. In the Four Phase Model discussed by Michael and Chris Dorn in their article, recovery involves two parts, 1) the mental health recovery plan to help reduce the emotional suffering of the campus community and to allow resumption of the process of education, and 2) the written business continuity plan to allow the organization to perform its primary mission of education in spite of extensive damage to facilities or critical systems. (24)

    Please see Appendix F for a table that summarizes all of the recommendations for the relationship with law enforcement and First Responders training.

The Emergency Response Task Force appreciates the opportunity to provide these recommendations for consideration. Task Force members would be pleased to answer any questions which may arise or to provide additional input as necessary.