August 23, 2017

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NCCPS Issues Campus Carry Report
As a result of expanded state legislation across the nation that permits the carrying of concealed handguns on college and university campuses, many institutions have been required to develop concealed carry policies that meet the mandates of state laws. Developing policies can be challenging not only due to the variability in the provisions of state laws but also because the laws have elicited diverse responses from campus community members who both support and oppose the laws.
Based on the complexity of issues, campus public safety officials requested assistance from the  National Center for Campus Public Safety (NCCPS) to help identify promising practices and considerations for policy development and implementation. In response to these requests, and to address the growing national movement toward campus carry legislation, the NCCPS convened a forum of campus public safety executives, federal officials, and subject matter experts on the issue. The purpose was to identify and explain critical components and considerations in developing and implementing a policy for carrying concealed handguns on campus. A model policy, or one-size-fits-all solution, is not possible due to both differences in state legislation and the unique characteristics of each college and university campus.
Participants identified eight critical factors in the development of a campus concealed carry policy. These factors are:
  1. Policy: Address stakeholders' concerns while complying with state law in an easy-to-understand manner.
  2. Legal: Involve legal counsel consultation and resources during the policy development process. 
  3. Education: Educate faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors about the provisions of the policy, exclusions, responsibilities, and actions if stopped by a police officer or encountering a use-of-force situation. 
  4. Implementation: Implementation has both pragmatic policy elements and broader concerns for dealing with the behaviors and, in some cases, the emotions of the campus community. There will be direct and indirect costs associated with implementation.
  5. Training: Training is the development of skills and the application of procedures to support the effective implementation of the campus carry policy and may be required for employees/faculty or incentivized for others such as students or campus visitors.
  6. Research and Evaluation: There is a need to monitor and evaluate new policies and procedures to find out if they are working.
  7. Communication: The importance of communication is to establish and maintain a multiway dialogue to discuss issues that will resolve questions, concerns, and fears. 
  8. Culture/Climate: Each institution has its own culture and climate, which includes attitudes, values, beliefs, and language of organizational members. Colleges and universities are eclectic, sometimes divisive, with a wide range of tolerance given to diverse viewpoints on virtually any issue. Campus carry is typically one of these divisive issues and every effort needs to be made to remain inclusive, objectively reviewing diverse opinions and making decisions on all aspects of the campus carry policy. 
Now available to download and share,  Policy Development and Implementation of Legislation Permitting the Carrying of Concealed Handguns on College and University Campuses: Promising Practices (PDF) serves as a resource for colleges and universities in need of developing campus carry policies and procedures consistent with state laws. This report represents a neutral path to help campuses move forward with policy development and implementation in an objective, thoughtful manner.

Visit our emerging issues forums web page to access additional forum reports on topics including   police and community interactions on campuses,  implementing Clery and Title IX, global safety and security,   policing off-campus communities,   managing student mental health, and the  impact of marijuana legalization and decriminalization.

Managing Campus Protests and Demonstrations
Student activism has long existed as a part of higher education culture. The right to join with fellow citizens in protest or peaceful assembly is protected under the  First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and individuals have been increasingly exercising this right in their campus communities. Across the nation, and on and off campus, people are gathering to participate in the open expression of differing political, economic, and social ideologies. There are several resources available to college and university officials and administrators to assist in finding the balance between upholding the First Amendment and ensuring public safety and security. These can be accessed through our previous news articles:
Law enforcement, campus public safety, and emergency management officials may request a copy of the FOUO document, Maintaining Safety And Order On College And University Campuses During Protests And Demonstrations: Promising Practices.

During the first two weeks of October the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators will be offering five sessions throughout the country on preparing for when hate comes to campus. They will be releasing additional information in the coming weeks.

Study Abroad Safety Preparation for Students and Staff
While some students are returning to campus, others are preparing to study abroad. Faculty and staff working in study abroad programs are dedicated to helping students prepare for their new environment. Students studying abroad face risks such as terrorism, identity theft, hacking, and assaults. The following points from On Call International are important reminders for institutions of higher education (IHEs) to consider.
Risk:  Each institution needs to determine their level of risk tolerance and vulnerability since every destination differs. IHEs typically try to achieve a balance between freedom of student choice and responsibility for student safety. Establishing the appropriate line should be done in advance so there are no surprises.
Auditing Locations:  A member of an IHE's crisis or emergency response team should vet all study abroad locations to determine risks unique to that location. This would include broad concerns such as any political, economic, and social issues the host country may have as well as more specific and tangible matters including the location of the nearest police station; the closest U.S. embassy or consulate; the closest hospital with English-speaking doctors; phone numbers for law enforcement officers that speak English; include the contact information of all identified local resources in the crisis response plan.
Emphasize Safety and Communication to Students:  Although students are free to travel, emphasize the importance of checking in with their program leader or faculty about planned weekend excursions or other travel plans. While most IHEs cover this information before students leave for their trip, it's critical to stress this important safety point upon their arrival. Students also need to be aware of public transportation routes, especially if they have been drinking.
Emergencies: It's essential that students are aware of who to contact or where to go in case of an emergency. Students should have the emergency or crisis management teams' numbers in their phones as well as those of local police. There should also be a protocol in place for checking in following an emergency through a preferred method of communication such as phone, text, email, or social media. The University of Wisconsin at Green Bay is testing a new app  with students studying abroad that allows them to check in with the school and emergency services abroad. A student can check in at their exact location and, in an emergency, be given directions in real time of where to go if they do not know where they are. Students used this app after the August 17 terror attacks in Spain.
Crisis Response Plan:  Do you have a crisis response plan? If so, is it up to date? If the answer to either is no, this needs attention immediately. In an emergency or crisis, time is crucial and confusion makes communication and safety more difficult to achieve. Having a solid crisis response plan in place reduces confusion and allows for more effective and efficient communication and action. On Call International has worked with academic programs for more than 20 years on travel risk management and emphasizes that "everyone with decision-making authority should understand their roles, communication chains and how to best work with third party resources during a crisis to ensure an agile and timely response."
For more resources on study abroad safety and security, please visit our library and use the search tag "travel and study abroad," which includes our report, Emerging Issues in Managing International Programs at Institutions of Higher Education (PDF). You may also access these On Call International resources: " 7 Top Security Risks for International Travelers" (infographic) and Terrorism in Western Europe & Its Implications for Your Travelers (on-demand webinar).

Professional Development Opportunities

Title: Building and Assessing Your Physical Security Program
Organization: NCCPS
Date: September 19, 2017 at 2:00PM ET
Location: Online
Fee: Free
Title: Sports and Special Events Incident Management (MGT404)
Organization: Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
Dates: September 20-21, 2017
Location: Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Fee: Free
Title: Community Policing Essentials
Organization: Virginia Community Policing Institute
Date: October 4, 2017
Location: North Las Vegas, NV
Fee: Free

For additional trainings and events, access our searchable online calendar.

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This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.