House passes campus safety bill

The House passed legislation Tuesday that would create a center for college campus safety in the Justice Department.

The bipartisan measure (HR 748) passed by voice vote under suspension of the rules. It is sponsored by Robert C. Scott, D-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and supported by the subcommittee's ranking Republican, Louie Gohmert of Texas. A similar measure was introduced in the 110th Congress in the wake of campus shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University.

"This bill will help schools to more effectively prevent such incidents and more effectively respond if such events do occur," Scott said.

The bill would authorize the center to provide $2.8 million in educational and training grants to campus public safety and mental health agencies. The center would also develop protocols for responding to campus emergencies and serve as a clearinghouse where colleges and universities could obtain information about best safety practices.

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