National campus security summit planned at U. of Central Oklahoma

Campus security summit to be held April 13-14, 2008


University presidents, administrators, counselors and law enforcement officers from throughout the region are expected to attend the 2008 National Campus Security Summit on April 13-14 at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.

This will be the second national campus security summit at UCO since the shooting deaths at Virginia Tech in April and the first to be held since the February shooting at Northern Illinois University.

The summit will include presentations by mental health experts and presentations from two members of the Northern Illinois University police department who responded to the shooting.

"Nearly a year after the tragic shooting on the Virginia Tech campus, violence on college and high school campuses continues to make headlines," said UCO President W. Roger Webb.  

"We must continue this important dialogue and learn what we can from our colleagues who experienced these tragedies," Webb said. "There is no greater priority than keeping our students, faculty and staff safe. "

After the shooting deaths at Virginia Tech, Webb testified on campus security before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security.

Webb's professional career began in law enforcement, where he served with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety and as Oklahoma Commissioner of Public Safety.

Summit speakers will include J. Steven Tidwell, executive assistant director, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Lt. Darrin Mitchell and Lt. Todd Henert, NIU Police Department; Brett Sokolow, founder and director of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management; Gene Deisinger, commander of the Special Operations Unit with the Iowa State University Police Division; and Marisa Randazzo, president of Threat Assessment Resources International.

The summit will also include the final report of the Campus Life and Safety and Security task force, which was created by Gov. Brad Henry to review and evaluate campus safety and security plans.

Glen D. Johnson, chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, and Phil Berkenbile, state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, will present the task force recommendations.

"This is all about practical ideas, affordable and attainable ideas that will improve protection while maintaining an environment of openness," said Webb.

The deadline for registration is April 11. More information is available at campussecuritysummit.ucok.edu.