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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Iowa universities told to hike security

Monday, July 23, 2007

Public safety directors from Iowa's three public universities say they support arming campus police but believe the decision should be made by the Iowa Board of Regents.

The directors submitted a report to Gov. Chet Culver on Thursday, recommending that the state study the issue further before making any sweeping changes. Culver requested the assessment after the Virginia Tech shootings on April 16, which left 33 people dead.

Supporters of arming campus police say schools need a way to prevent similar killing sprees on Iowa campuses.

"They are trained police professionals," said Chuck Green, director of public safety at University of Iowa. "I am grateful the issue is being talked about."

Safety directors at Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa evaluated existing procedures, including public safety staffing and training, emergency notification and response tactics as well as early detection of threatening individuals.

Iowa Homeland Security aided in the review.

Later this year the Legislature will also review suggestions for improving campus safety, Judge said.

Some schools have already started exploring new measures. The University of Iowa is installing five sirens, which can send voice messages, for emergency warnings. It is also trying out another service known as "reverse messaging" that sends voice and text messages to cell phones.

Iowa State University is hiring another expert in assessing threats on campus; install voice-capable outdoor warning sirens on campus and using flat screen televisions in buildings with the installation of a campus-wide intercom warning system.

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