Administrators LEAD & MANAGE MY SCHOOL
Campus Public Safety: Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Protective Measures
Office for Domestic Preparedness, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
April 2003

There are approximately 4,000 Title IV institutions of post-secondary education in the United States serving 15 million students, and several million faculty, staff and visitors. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are roughly 30,000 campus police and security officers protecting these institutions and individuals.

Within available resources, and consistent with each college or university's policies, procedures and governing philosophy, consideration may be given to the affirmative steps listed below to prevent, deter or effectively respond to a weapons of mass destruction terrorist attack. These steps may be calibrated to local, state or national alert levels.


  • Establish a working relationship with the Supervisory Agent in Charge of your nearest FBI field office, the regional Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), as well as state and local officials to help ensure your timely receipt of threat information.

  • Consider assigning officers as liaisons with international student groups on your campus. In addition to potentially eliciting lifesaving information, the officer(s) may serve to build trust and allay fears among international students.


  • Establish a management team responsible for directing the implementation of your campus emergency operations plan.

  • Immediately review your emergency operations plan, terrorism incident annex and mutual aid agreements with your management team, command staff and jurisdictional partners. Ascertain the need for immediate staff training.

  • The review of your emergency operations plan with jurisdictional partners should include a discussion of potential assets the campus can provide on its own behalf and that of the community in the event of an incident occurring outside the campus. Consider assigning a campus public safety liaison to the local Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

  • Review leave policies and standard operating procedures for reassignment of plainclothes officers to uniform to enhance visibility and coverage of vulnerable areas.

  • Update your most recent risk assessment inventory.

  • Increase physical checks of critical facilities during periods of increased alert.

  • Establish a single point of access for each critical facility and institute 100% identification checks.

  • Limit public access to critical facilities and consider escort procedures for authorized persons.

  • Increase administrative inspections of persons and their possessions entering critical facilities.

  • Increase administrative inspections of vehicles and their contents.

  • Assess adequacy of video monitoring.

  • Assess adequacy of physical barriers outside sensitive buildings and proximity of parking.

  • Ensure adequacy of your emergency alert and communication system for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

  • Review your parent communication and reunification plan, and then educate all stakeholders.

Special Notes

The suggestions set forth above are offered only to guide and inform your public safety planning efforts. They are not intended to be exhaustive, or to supercede federal, state, local or campus statutes, regulations or policies.

More detailed guidelines have been provided to your campus public safety executive.

The Office for Domestic Preparedness, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, gratefully acknowledges input from the following sources:

  • International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA)
  • The IACLEA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference
  • The College and University Policing Section, International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
  • The Wisconsin Association of Campus Police Chiefs
  • University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign Division of Public Safety
  • Valdosta State University Department of Public Safety
  • The George Washington University Police Department
  • McDaniel College Department of Campus Safety
  • University of Maine Department of Public Safety
  • University of Vermont Police Services
  • The iXP Corporation, Campus Public Safety and Security
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of Law Enforcement Coordination
  • The U.S. Department of Education

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Last Modified: 09/14/2004