BOSTON, June 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE) voted on June 14th to formally accept a report prepared by TSG Solutions, Inc. ('TSG') entitled Securing Our Future: Best Practice Recommendations for Campus Safety and Violence Prevention. The 120-plus page report is the result of a five-month project led by TSG focused on issues of active shooter and sexual violence. Over the course of its study, TSG conducted a statewide survey designed to assess existing policies and practices on campus safety and violence prevention at the Commonwealth's 29 public institutions of higher education, reviewed national best practices and emerging research in the associated subject areas, conducted campus visits and interviews with senior staff and students, and provided a comprehensive review of key findings --- all of which contributed to the development of recommendations on how to best protect the campus community from harm.
"While every campus is unique, our goal with this report is to offer a series of baseline recommendations local campuses can use to address the evolving security challenges they face, both now and in the future," said Amanda Botelho Robbins, TSG senior security consultant and principal author of the report. "In some ways, campuses are more challenging security environments than airports or federal buildings. Every campus needs to balance the desire for an open environment that welcomes a free range of political and philosophical discourse with the growing need to minimize risk."
While TSG found institutions to have made significant strides in their efforts to improve campus safety and security since 2008 when the BHE first ordered a review of this nature, the report stresses the need to continue to develop and enhance their safety, security, and emergency management protocols, trainings, and systems/equipment in order to adequately plan for and maintain an optimal level of preparedness. The report provides a series of recommendations on how to most effectively reach those objectives, utilizing Guiding Principles, or concepts by which to devise a campus safety and violence prevention program, followed by Baseline Capabilities that are the necessary minimums to adequately plan/prepare for and respond to associated risks. Detailed Recommendations for Implementation and active examples of how to achieve the baseline and beyond are also provided in the report.
"What we strive to do with each of our clients is to identify their needs and offer practical and innovative solutions for enhancement," said Dianna Granum, TSG President and COO. "Recognizing the diversity of our institutions in the Commonwealth, this is not an off-the-shelf, one size fits all solution. Our report serves as a flexible guidance document for the BHE and its constituent institutions that can be used now and into the future as needs and risks evolve."
"TSG Solutions, Inc. was a critical partner in our efforts to provide comprehensive guidelines and recommendations to campuses grappling with a variety of threats, including active shooter and sexual violence," said Carlos E. Santiago, Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education. "The team was diligent in its work, securing a great deal of valuable input from stakeholders at our public colleges and universities across the state. TSG's final report will serve us well as we work to improve the safety and security of all of our institutions."
For this engagement, TSG brought in subject matter expertise by partnering with Juliette Kayyem, founder of Juliette Kayyem Solutions, LLC; Jennifer Davis, founder of Jenn Davis, LLC; and Matthew Rushton, Managing Partner of Campus Safety Associates, LLC. The TSG project team was aided by members of a statewide task force comprised of experts from around the state to include higher education Presidents, Campus Police Chiefs, Title IX Coordinators, student leaders, representatives of the Commonwealth's executive branch and agencies, and community based practitioners. The task force was co-chaired by Dena Papanikolaou, General Counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, and by BHE members Dani Monroe and Fernando Reimers.
TSG Solutions, Inc., with offices in California and Massachusetts, was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to providing outstanding services and solutions to enhance customer security, preparedness and operations. TSG Solutions' capabilities include Risk Management and Security Consulting, Situational Awareness Solutions, and technical services supporting information assurance for the U.S. military.
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SOURCE TSG Solutions, Inc.