Members of Congress called for the creation of a national center for campus security and protocol training last Thursday.

The Center to Advance, Monitor and Preserve University Security Safety Act of 2011, endorsed by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), was drafted to connect colleges with one another so they could share effective safety plans and procedures.

Supporters hope that the legislation, which has been passed over by the last two sessions of Congress, will be signed into law during the current session. It is currently pending the House’s approval.

According to Scott, the purpose of the center is to create a “one stop shop” for schools to share reliable and useful information, creating a nationwide community working to prevent violent crimes.

“It makes little sense to require the thousands of institutions of higher education to individually go through the cost and effort to develop comprehensive plans,” Scott said when introducing the bill in June.

The CAMPUS Act already has the support of the two largest safety organizations in the country, including the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.

The center would provide Congress and the Attorney General annual reports of campus activities. Universities currently report crime data to the Department of Education under the 1990 Clery Act.

As an additional incentive to promote safety precautions and faster emergency response on campuses, the bill would allow the center to award grants to universities to ensure that more rigorous safety goals are reached.

As a member of IACLEA, Georgetown has endorsed plans for the center.

Rocco DelMonaco, Georgetown’s vice president for university safety, said that the act will help provide public safety officers at universities with training specific to the job.

According to Rachel Pugh, director of media relations, however, Georgetown’s Department for Public Safety already requires all of its safety officers to complete extensive training, which includes 80 hours of orientation, a field-training program and a probationary period.

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