Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today said they were pleased to learn that the U.S. Department of Justice will create a national center for public safety on school campuses, an idea advocated by the VTV Family Outreach Foundation.
Scott and Wolf have been working with the families and victims of the shootings at Virginia Tech to create a center through Scott's CAMPUS Safety Act. The Center would train campus public safety agency personnel, encourage research to strengthen college safety and security and serve as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of relevant campus public safety information.
The measure has strong support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and a companion bill, sponsored by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), recently advanced in the Senate. The measure also has strong support from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.
Wolf, chairman of the subcommittee that funds the Justice Department, asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in January to reprogram existing monies to establish the center. Holder, in a letter this week to Wolf, said he would.
"I am pleased that DOJ has agreed to create the National Center for Campus Public Safety," said Scott. "In the wake of the Newtown tragedy and almost six years since the shootings at Virginia Tech, it is clear that violence at our schools is a national problem that must be addressed. There is a wealth of information available to help schools prevent such violence and effectively respond if and when such incidences occur. Creating a National Center for Campus Public Safety will ensure that our nation's schools have better access to this critical information."
"Keeping our communities safe, particularly our schools, is paramount," Wolf said today. "I am especially pleased that these programs can be enacted using funds that have already been appropriated and will cost American taxpayers nothing. I am also appreciative of the hard work my colleague Bobby Scott has done to keep students on campuses across America safe, and I look forward to working together on this issue moving forward."