(SPRINGFIELD) – The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) announced the creation of a Homeland Security and Campus Safety Research Committee. The role of the committee is to define preparedness issues and make recommendations to the ICCB in areas of Homeland Security and Campus Safety.
ICCB member Marikay Hegarty, who is the director of the Records Services Division of the Chicago Police Department, and Col. Jill Morgenthaler, Deputy Chief of Staff, Public Safety at the Illinois Department of Homeland Security, will co-chair the committee. The rest of the committee will comprise public safety officers from 11 Illinois community colleges, plus a representative each from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association, The Illinois Community College Council of Presidents, The Illinois Community College Faculty Association, and the Illinois Community College Board Student Advisory Committee.
The committee will investigate such issues as the preparedness of the community college system in case of an emergency. It will examine current policies and procedures for security personnel, and the composition and level of training of system security personnel. It will also look at the professional development and technical assistance needs of campus security staff.
“The ICCB feels that forming this committee is a critical preventative measure to prepare for emergency situations at both the local and statewide level,” said Guy Alongi, chairman of the ICCB.
Illinois community colleges are already extensively involved in homeland security training through state and federal grant programs.
The specific goals of this committee are to
• establish a statewide Homeland Security Policy for all Community Colleges that will set forth response guidelines to work with local, state and federal agencies.
• examine the preparedness of each community college district in case of a domestic or international terrorist attack
• survey community colleges current Police/Security Departments to determine if they have adequately trained personnel, such as Police Training Institute (PTI) and weapons training from a state-licensed institution.
• make recommendations on the number of PTI trained personnel each college should have and to make sure those supervising Police Chiefs and Security Directors have a common knowledge of Homeland Security and Campus Security and make recommendations as to who should be in direct supervision of those Chiefs and Directors.
• make recommendations to the Illinois Community College Board of ways to fund grants to colleges and on technical assistance needs and continuing education opportunities.
• establish a communication network to share practices and information with college security personnel.
The Illinois Community College System is the third largest community college system in the nation and comprises 48 community colleges in 39 districts covering all of Illinois. Illinois community colleges annually serve approximately a million students in college transfer courses, workforce development, continuing education, and adult education programs.
The Illinois Community College Board is the state coordinating board for community colleges. It comprises a chairperson and ten other members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, and a nonvoting student member appointed by the Student Advisory Committee.