SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency today announced an initiative to enhance safety for students, staff and visitors on college and university campuses.

Nine colleges and universities will participate in a pilot of the “Ready to Respond Campus” program, with a full roll out of the program expected in January 2014.

“The Ready to Respond Campus program will recognize those institutions that meet rigorous standards for ensuring the safety of their students, staff and visitors,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “The Ready to Respond Campus designation will let current and prospective students and their parents know that safety is a top priority on the campus.”

Schools participating in the pilot program include:

• Augustana College (Rock Island)

• Columbia College (Chicago)

• Heartland Community College (Normal)

• Parkland College (Champaign)

• Moraine Valley Community College (Palos Hills)

• Richland Community College (Decatur)

• Southeastern Illinois College (Harrisburg)

• Southern Illinois University (Carbondale)

• University of Illinois (Urbana/Champaign)

To attain the Ready to Respond Campus designation, colleges must demonstrate compliance with standards for hazard identification, operational and violence prevention planning, incident management, training, exercises and crisis communications/public education.

Templates are available if needed to help schools document compliance with the standards

Colleges and universities meeting the criteria will be designated a Ready to Respond Campus and can use the Ready Campus logo on official correspondence, websites, brochures and other media for three years.

They will be able to renew their Ready to Respond Campus designation by submitting updated documentation at that time.

The Ready to Respond Campus program is the latest component of Illinois’ Ready to Respond effort. In 2012, IEMA announced the Ready to Respond Community initiative.

The program is endorsed by the Illinois Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and supported by IEMA and the University of Illinois’ Center for Public Safety and Justice.

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