Vermont to be Home of National Center for Campus Safety

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by Wilson Ring, Associated Press

MONTEPLIER, Vt. — Campus security officials from across the country will soon be looking to Vermont for help in keeping up with the latest thinking in college security needs.

The National Center for Campus Public Safety will be based in Burlington and work with the University of Vermont. It will bring together experts and share information in an attempt to ensure the safety and security of students and their communities.

The center is expected to host conferences that will bring campus security professionals to Vermont, but much of the information on a variety of campus security topics will be available online, said Gary Margolis, a former University of Vermont police chief. He will be running the center with Steven Healy, the former director of public safety at Princeton University. The two now run a campus security firm together.

“Universities and colleges remain among the safest places for our children to be,” Margolis said. The center is designed to be a place where security officials can turn for help with problems or for information about certain threats, from coping with a disease outbreak to implementing policies that promote respect between men and women.

“We help universities and colleges with the sticky things,” Margolis said.

Now there is a focus on campuses on sexual misconduct. Previously, there has been a focus on such issues as a shooter on campus, the security challenges of students traveling abroad and guns on campuses.

“The national center provides a clearinghouse for all those issues and more,” Margolis said.

The center was charted by Congress this year. The U.S. Justice Department is giving it a $2.3 million grant.

It will employ five or six people and will support the local economy by holding conferences in Vermont, Margolis said.

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