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Emerging Issues: Campus Protest Prep and Response

New Training Series Designed to Be Deployed Rapidly

On a Thursday evening in early February, Executive Director Sue Riseling saw footage of the protests at the University of California Berkeley. It was clear that large, tense protests would occur on campuses nationwide— some on campuses where protest was a legacy, some at schools where protest is new. She knew campus safety leaders would benefit from strategic and tactical advice as well as information sharing among peers and that members shouldn’t have to wait for the Annual Conference in June.

Riseling contacted President Burba that night, and they created the Emerging Issues series, the first of which centered on campus protest. The concept is to identify emerging issues and respond with one-day training programs taught by a subject-matter expert. These courses are interactive and intimate, with typically no more than 30 delegates to a class, giving the attendees the opportunity to really engage with the subject matter and classmates. The trainings were conducted in multiple venues in an effort to reduce travel costs and make them accessible to many members.

This program has been a highlight for IACLEA members across the United States. The Campus Protest Preparation and Response Training curriculum was created and first presented by Iowa State Chief Michael Newton in early March at Chapman University, University of Maryland-College Park, and Notre Dame University. Attendees from more than 40 colleges and universities participated. The training was such a hit that the New England region requested a seminar, which Riseling hosted at the University of Hartford on April 27. With 25 years’ experience as the chief of police at University of Wisconsin-Madison and having managed the 30-plus day protest at the state capital that drew more than 100,000 protestors, Riseling had unique insights to share.

“Our mission is basically to protect the university’s mission, which is to have civil debate and present both sides of an issue and have things be done in a way that’s civil,” said the association’s president, Randy Burba, police chief at Chapman. “It’s a challenge to make that happen when there’s really opposing sides and views, but that’s really what we’re supposed to do.” Burba was quoted in “US colleges confront a new era of sometimes-violent protest” by Lisa Rathke of the Associated Press. The story was carried in more than 220 news outlets.



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