June 20, 2018

NCCPS Campus Protests Report
Download the forum report.
NCCPS Announces Release of Report on Campus Protests and Demonstrations
What is the role of the emergency management program during the planning process for events likely to result in protests and demonstrations? This was the question driving a forum of campus public safety executives from 23 institutions of higher education (IHEs) gathered in Long Beach, California on November 10, 2017. Coordinated by the National Center for Campus Public Safety (NCCPS), the forum convened as part of the 2017 International Association of Emergency Managers Universities & Colleges Caucus Symposium held that week and aligns with the NCCPS's role as a nationwide resource for addressing critical issues in campus safety. Today, we are pleased to release the resulting report, Campus Protests and Demonstrations: The Role of Emergency Management (PDF).
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides one of America's most valued freedoms: the right to assemble. College campuses have long been places at which people have exercised this right, making them incubators, launch pads, and proving grounds for many of the country's most significant social and political changes.
Many IHEs welcome the protests and demonstrations that are frequently a part of these movements, though the events often carry a variety of risks. Violence may erupt, facilities could be damaged or become inaccessible, and unfavorable media coverage could damage reputations, for example. Revenue could shrink if parents, sponsors, alumni, or other groups decide to distance themselves from an IHE after a controversial gathering.
In turn, campus protests and demonstrations frequently require careful coordination, planning, and response tactics from emergency managers. However, significant challenges arise for emergency management teams when different groups of people gather during protests and demonstrations. Key discussion questions included:
  • How and why should emergency managers elevate their presence and authority in the planning process?
  • What can emergency managers do to cope with unpredictable circumstances and external factors before, during, and after a protest?
  • What can emergency managers do to secure and provide additional training, better tools, and improved planning abilities?
Download the full report (PDF) to learn more about the key challenges identified by participants as well as a number of promising practices that emergency managers can implement to better coordinate protests and demonstrations. Please visit our  emerging issues forums web page to see reports on other topics of interest.

Suicide Rates Rising Across the U.S.
During the week of June 4th, two well-known figures were lost to suicide, designer Kate Spade and chef, author, and travel documentarian, Anthony Bourdain. Losses of familiar individuals is a reminder of the emotional struggles people face on a daily basis and that we never truly know what is happening in a person's life. Depression and other mental health issues affect people of all ages, genders, income levels, races, and ethnicities. If you or someone you know is struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for help at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
On Thursday, June 8th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new Vital Signs report that affirms suicide increased in nearly every state between 1999 and 2016. In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide and suicide is one of only three leading causes of death that is on the rise in the U.S.
Suicide is rarely caused by one factor alone. Even though prevention efforts focus primarily on providing treatment for those with mental health conditions, there are additional prevention efforts that can be discussed and promoted. For the latest Vital Signs report, CDC researchers examined trends at the state-level and used additional information from the CDC's  National Violent Death Reporting System, which 27 states participated in in 2015, to look at the circumstances of suicide among people with and without known mental health conditions. Researchers found that more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death. Other factors that may contribute to suicide include problems in relationships, substance use, physical health, and job, money, legal, or housing stress. Among those with and without known mental health conditions, firearms are the primary method by which they end their lives, followed by suffocation.
States, communities, and campuses can work together to focus on comprehensive efforts to help prevent suicide by:
  • Identifying and supporting people at risk of suicide.
  • Teaching coping and problem-solving skills to help people manage challenges with their relationships, academics, jobs, health, or other concerns.
  • Promoting safe and supportive environments. This includes safely storing medications and firearms to reduce access among people at risk.
  • Offering activities that bring people together, so they feel connected and not alone.
  • Connecting people at risk to effective and coordinated mental and physical healthcare both on and off-campus.
  • Expanding options for temporary help for those struggling financially.
  • Preventing future risk of suicide among those who have lost a loved one to suicide.
A wide variety of resources are available to help campus officials and the communities they serve. These include:
For additional resources, please visit the NCCPS library and news articles and use the search tag "suicide."

Professional Development Opportunities

Title:   Understanding How the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center Supports Institutions of Higher Education
Organization: National Center for Campus Public Safety
Date: July 10, 2018 at 2:00 PM ET
Location: Online
Fee: Free
Title: Sport Event Risk Management
Organization: Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
Dates: August 2-3, 2018
Location: Cleveland, OH
Fee: Free
Title: MGT-324: Campus Emergencies Prevention, Response, and Recovery
Organization: National Center for Biomedical Research and Training
Date: October 8, 2018
Location: Bellevue, WA
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.
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