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Great Mills High Plans Remembrances for 1-Year Mark of School Shooting

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Great Mills High School and officials planned several activities to remember the victim and support surviving students.

On Mar. 20, 2018, a school resource officer at Great Mills exchanged gunfire with a 17-year-old student gunman after he shot two other students.

Sixteen-year-old Jaelynn Willey, who police said had previously been in a relationship with the gunman, was shot and killed. Fourteen-year-old Desmond Barnes was also shot but survived his injuries.

Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill confronted the gunman less than a minute after the shooting began. Gaskill fired at him, hitting his gun at the same time the shooter took his own life.

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Spotlight on Campus Safety Director of the Year Finalist Christopher Wynn

Congratulations to Hemet Unified School District Security Director Christopher Wynn for being named one of this year’s Campus Safety Director of the Year Finalists.

Here are some of his notable achievements:

Upgraded and standardized electronic security systems (access control, life safety systems, PAs/intercoms, visitor management, security cameras and phones) throughout the district.To reduce costs, trained maintenance department locksmiths to install the access control system.For electronic system upgrades, utilized the California Multiple Award Schedules (CMAS) to take advantage of government pre-negotiated pricing.

The Director of the Year winners and runners up will be announced at Campus Safety Conference West, being held in Las Vegas June 17-19. For more information, visit CampusSafetyConference.com, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (855) 351-0927.

View his photo gallery.

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Mental Health is a School Safety Priority for Texas Lawmakers

Mental health has taken precedence over gun violence prevention when it comes to preventing mass shootings, Texas legislators say.

After the Santa Fe High School shooting last year, Governor Greg Abbott held a series of discussions focusing around school safety. The results included proposals for more school safety personnel and better mental health care for students.

Abbott named school safety as one of his top priorities for 2019.

On March 5, the Senate cleared a high-profile mental health bill filed by Senator Jane Nelson, chair of the Senate Finance Committee. She told senators that it was her “best shot” at helping students after the deadly shooting, reports the Texas Tribune.

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Corrections Officers Can Become School Police Officers Under This New N.J. Law

In a unanimous vote, a new state law in New Jersey will allow almost all law enforcement personnel under the age of 65 to become armed school police officers, including former correctional officers.

Signed on Monday by Governor Phil Murphy, the law includes retired NJ Transit cops, Port Authority Police, Fish and Wildlife officers, among others, to bolster school security, reports NJ.com.

“They are job-tested and proven in high-pressure situations,” said Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce. “Their presence in schools will make the halls, cafeterias and playgrounds safer.”

Before the law was enacted, districts could hire anyone as an armed guard as long as they have a license to carry a gun and hold an Armed Security Officer credential. While inexpensive, they are not police officers, have no law enforcement authority and have no radio communication with local police.

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Join Us! Attend This Summer’s Campus Safety Conferences

The end of the school year is just around the corner, and I want to remind you to be sure to add one of the Campus Safety Conferences to your summer plans.

This year, we will once again be hosting three events: Campus Safety Conference WEST, which will take place June 17-19 in Las Vegas, Nevada; Campus Safety Conference TEXAS, which will be held in Dallas, Texas, July 21-23; and Campus Safety Conference EAST, which will take place in Charlotte, N.C., August 6-8.

Register by April 15 and save $100.

We have also partnered again with our advisory board and the public safety departments at the University of Southern California, University of North Texas Dallas and Northern Virginia Community College to provide attendees with expert insight on some of the biggest challenges facing institutions of higher education and K-12 campuses today. Those issues include mental health, transportation safety, suicide prevention, emergency plans, lockdown, Clery compliance, tabletop exercises, security technologies, gang violence and more.

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‘Virtual Kidnapping’ Has SoCal Police Alerting Local Schools

Police in Laguna Beach, Calif., have alerted local schools about two ‘virtual kidnap’ cases that took place in the last 24 hours.

The police say victims received calls explaining their daughters had been kidnapped and would remain unharmed if money was wired to a Mexican bank account, reports Fox 11.

“This type of activity is called ‘virtual kidnapping’ and we believe the suspect was able to learn personal information of the victim through unsecured social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.),” Laguna Beach police said in a prepared statement.

The caller’s goal is to get the person on the phone afraid enough to quickly transfer the money before they realize their child is safe. There have not been any reported abductions.

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Spotlight on Campus Safety Director of the Year Finalist Kenna Powell

Congratulations to Providence Day School Director of Safety and Security Kenna Powell for being named one of this year’s Campus Safety Director of the Year Finalists.

Here are some of her notable achievements:

Organized and hosted a North Carolina Independent School Security Summit, bringing in representatives from more than 50 schools.Developed an emergency operations plan, including an annex for after-school activities.Provided safety training programs for all school employees (online, classroom, seminar, exercises, etc.) including CPR, First Aid, Stop the Bleed and Active Survival.

The Director of the Year winners and runners up will be announced at Campus Safety Conference West, being held in Las Vegas June 17-19. For more information, visit CampusSafetyConference.com, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (855) 351-0927.

View her photo gallery.

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The ‘Roadshow’ Approach to Developing Campus Stakeholder Buy-in

As campus protection professionals, you probably have some great ideas on ways your healthcare facility, institution of higher education or school district can improve security. However, if people aren’t familiar with your security department and the valuable services it provides, you can’t expect your ideas to gain traction, let alone be implemented.

That’s why it’s critical to develop support for your security, public safety and emergency management programs from your stakeholders. Depending on your organization, your stakeholders could be the hospital C-suite, university president, school district superintendent, nursing department, custodial staff, faculty, administrators, residence life, coaching staff, students, parents or even the surrounding community. The list of potential stakeholders, both on and off campus, is practically endless.

At the Great Conversation in Security that took place in Seattle March 4-5, I spoke with Grant County PUB Security Manager Fallon Long about how she was able to successfully garner buy-in for her security department’s initiatives in her former position with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She embarked on what she calls “Roadshows” to not only foster support, but also listen to her organization’s various stakeholders to identify their needs and concerns so her department could address them.

In this interview with Campus Safety, Long describes the roadshow concept and how hospital, school and university protection professionals can apply it to their programs.

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These Calif. Teachers Say the PBIS Discipline Model is Broken

Valley Oak Middle School teachers, part of the Visalia (Calif.) Unified School District, are saying their school’s discipline model is broken.

During a meeting on Thursday, other teachers and parents agreed, calling it a “crisis” in classrooms across the city, reports USA Today.

Visalia, along with many other districts in the state, follows the program Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS), funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

When students act out, they are placed in intervention programs or counseling before suspension or expulsion is recommended.

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Spotlight on Campus Safety Director of the Year Finalist Gus Paidousis

Congratulations to Knox County (Tenn.) Schools Chief/Director of Security Gus Paidousis for being named one of this year’s Campus Safety Director of the Year Finalists.

Here are some of his notable achievements:

Created a physical fitness incentive program to promote, encourage and reward officers who maintain a healthy lifestyle and to minimize sick leave while maximizing performance and service delivery.Improved department professionalism and enhanced its standing with local law enforcement by implementing 20 general orders to guide officers in their duties.Improved the patrol fleet’s quality by closely managing department finances and having a methodical program to surplus older vehicles and acquire newer replacements.

The Director of the Year winners and runners up will be announced at Campus Safety Conference West, being held in Las Vegas June 17-19. For more information, visit CampusSafetyConference.com, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (855) 351-0927.

View his photo gallery.

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