(Extensions of Remarks - January 23, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E54-E55]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                      SECURITY SAFETY ACT OF 2013


                     HON. ROBERT C. ``BOBBY'' SCOTT

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, today I am introducing the Center 
to Advance, Monitor and Preserve University Security (``CAMPUS'') 
Safety Act of 2013. The CAMPUS Safety Act previously passed the House 
of Representatives by voice vote as a standalone bill in the 110th and 
111th Congresses and was included in the House-passed versions of the 
College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2008 in the 110th Congress 
and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 in the 112th 
Congress. It is my hope that the CAMPUS Safety Act will be signed into 
law during the 113th Congress.

[[Page E55]]

  The purpose of the legislation is to enable our institutions of 
higher education to more easily obtain the best information available 
on how to keep our campuses safe and how to respond in the event of a 
campus emergency. The bill creates a National Center for Campus Public 
Safety (``Center''), which will be administered through the Department 
of Justice. The Center is designed to train campus public safety 
agencies in state of the art practices to assure campus safety, 
encourage research to strengthen college safety and security, and serve 
as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of relevant campus public 
safety information. The Director of the Center will have authority to 
award grants to institutions of higher learning to help them meet their 
enhanced public safety goals.
  Over the past few years we have seen numerous tragedies occur at 
colleges and universities, including the disastrous events that 
occurred at Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University and more 
recently at Old Dominion University that took the life of Congressman 
Elijah Cummings' nephew. Unfortunately, these events were the first of 
their kind at their schools and there was insufficient knowledge on how 
to prevent the tragedies or how to most effectively respond in their 
aftermath. While there is growing awareness that such threats are 
possible anywhere, many schools still have not developed safety 
protocols that would prepare them to maximize the prospects of 
preventing such tragedies or to effectively respond to them should they 
occur despite sound prevention efforts.
  Our nation's colleges and universities play a large role in the 
development of our next generation of leaders and we should assist them 
in their efforts to keep our campuses and our students safe. The Clery 
Act already requires schools to have safety plans in order to 
participate in the Title IV deferral student aid programs; 
unfortunately there is no one place for schools to obtain reliable and 
useful information. It makes little sense to require the thousands of 
institutions of higher education to start from scratch and individually 
go through the cost and effort to develop comprehensive plans. Instead, 
they ought to be able to obtain guidance and assistance, including best 
practices, from a ``one stop shop'' like the Center.
  The CAMPUS Safety Act will help institutions of higher learning 
understand how to prevent such tragedies from occurring, and how to 
respond immediately and effectively in case they do. Although this bill 
was originally drafted in direct response to the Virginia Tech 
shootings to specifically assist college and university campuses, I 
should note that in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary 
School in Newtown, Connecticut, public elementary and secondary schools 
and their governing agencies will be able to access the informational 
and training benefits of the Center.
  I urge my colleagues to cosponsor and support this important 
legislation to ensure that our institutions of higher education have 
access to the information necessary to keep their schools safe.