Texas Campus Shooting Prompts Safety Questions in Our Area

By: Matt Galka Email
By: Matt Galka Email

Some might consider the meeting between school reps and the senate education appropriations committee to discuss campus safety funding a strange coincidence. It came just one day after a Texas college campus shooting injured three people.

"Unfortunately it's not odd, in the world of law enforcement and just the world we live in, these types of situations can happen at any moment, any day, and any time," said Florida Sate police chief David Perry.

Chief Perry says those factors, along with the openness of many college campuses increase the need for campus safety. Tallahassee Community College president Jim Murdaugh spoke with the committee on how money could be used to provide guidance services for students who show emotional or behavioral warning signs.

"There's non-recurring issues that can be dealt with and there's recurring issues that can be dealt with in terms of the staffing that we can provide for mental health services and other services for students," said Murdaugh.

Technological efforts, like the emergency blue light systems that are commonplace on campuses across the country, can help. But Perry says that state money for more manpower would go a long way in keeping students safe.

"One officer for every 600 students. That's a measure that the state university chiefs hope will still be reviewed and adopted in time when budgets do allow," said Perry.

The committee will determine how much more funding to provide, if any, after Governor Rick Scott releases his budget for the state.

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