WASHINGTON, DC (March 15, 2013)- Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) Thursday said they were pleased to learn that the U.S. Department of Justice will create a national center for public safety on school campuses, an idea advocated by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) and the VTV Family Outreach Foundation.
"A National Center for Campus Public Safety is a goal we have worked for over many years," said IACLEA President Anne Glavin. "It just makes sense that those of us who safeguard over 17 million students and thousands of critical research programs should have a federal resource for this national priority of serving and protecting our future."
IACLEA has been working with the U.S. Department of Justice since 2004 to establish a resource for campus safety professionals. Over the last six years, the House of Representatives has approved a National Center in a bipartisan manner, and the Senate Judiciary Committee recently passed the Center by an overwhelming vote. Scott and Wolf have been working with the families and victims of the shootings at Virginia Tech and IACLEA to create a center through Scott's CAMPUS Safety Act. The Center would train campus public safety agency personnel, encourage research to strengthen college safety and security and serve as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of relevant campus public safety information.
The measure has strong support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and a companion bill, sponsored by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), recently advanced in the Senate.
Wolf, chairman of the subcommittee that funds the Justice Department, asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in January to reprogram existing monies to establish the center. Today, AG Holder, in a letter Chairman Wolf, said he would. do so.
"I am pleased that DOJ has agreed to create the National Center for Campus Public Safety," said the proposal's primary sponsor Rep. Bobby Scott. "In the wake of the Newtown tragedy and almost six years since the shootings at Virginia Tech, it is clear that violence at our schools is a national problem that must be addressed. There is a wealth of information available to help schools prevent such violence and effectively respond if and when such incidences occur. Creating a National Center for Campus Public Safety will ensure that our nation's schools have better access to this critical information."
"Keeping our communities safe, particularly our schools, is paramount," Chairman Wolf said today. "I am especially pleased that these programs can be enacted using funds that have already been appropriated and will cost American taxpayers nothing. I am also appreciative of the hard work my colleague Bobby Scott has done to keep students on campuses across America safe, and I look forward to working together on this issue moving forward."