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Aug. 3, 2009
A group of Northwest administrators recently attended the third annual Conference on Coordinated School and College Safety and Security in Columbia.
Approximately 300 teachers, school board members, social workers and campus police officers from across Missouri were also at the event, which was hosted by the Missouri School Boards' Association.
Participating from Northwest were Dr. Matt Baker, dean of students; Tim Crowley, director of counseling; Clarence Green, director of campus safety; Brad Landhuis, assistant director of advisement; Rose Viau, director of residential life; and Dr. Jerry Wilmes, medical director/emergency coordinator.
For Associated Press coverage about the conference, including comments by Dr. Jerry Wilmes, go to: http://www.semissourian.com/story/1558774.html
All of those attending from the University are members of the Northwest Threat Assessment Team, which also includes Dr. April Haberyan, assistant professor of psychology, sociology and counseling.
While at the conference, the group presented the program titled, "Developing a High-Functioning Threat Assessment Team," which was facilitated by Baker.
In addition, Wilmes served as a member of a keynote panel, along with representatives from University of Northern Illinois, University of Central Arkansas and the Missouri Office of Homeland Security, which led a discussion titled "Campus Emergencies and Lessons Learned: A Panel Discussion with Audience and Expert Respondent Interaction." The program was moderated by Dr. Robert Stein, Missouri commissioner of higher education.
Wilmes also attended a meeting of the Higher Education Sub-Committee of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, of which he is a member, and led a session on "Developing a Missouri Emergency Management Best Practices Tool Kit."
Other conference speakers and participants included survivors of campus shooting incidents at Northern Illinois and Central Arkansas universities and retired FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole.
The annual conference was organized in response to a 2007 shooting rampage at Virginia Tech, which claimed the lives of 33 people, including the lone gunman.
Following the Virginia Tech tragedy, Northwest assumed a leadership role in a comprehensive review of safety and security systems in place at schools and campuses statewide.
In 2007 and 2008, the University hosted regional Safe Schools Summits for educators, peace officers and first-responders from throughout northwest Missouri. In addition, Green was named by then-Gov. Matt Blunt to serve on a blue-ribbon Campus Security Task Force charged with evaluating college emergency response plans.
The Northwest Campus Safety chief also worked with Missouri Homeland Security Coordinator Paul Fennewald to adapt the Missouri Emergency Response Planning Team school database, known as ERPT, to colleges and universities.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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