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Campus security task force meets in St. Louis

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, Mo – Missouri Governor Matt Blunt's newly formed Campus Security Task Force held the first of two public hearings Thursday in St. Louis.

The 25-member panel will make policy recommendations on how the state's colleges and universities can better prepare for potential emergencies.

"Make it a plan that's going to deal with any emergency that might beset the campus be it weather related, terrorist related, be it an active shooter," said Rob Wylie, fire chief of the Cottleville Fire District in St. Charles County. "Make it an all-hazards plan."

Specific issues the panel is addressing include whether campus security officers should be armed, also what role should mental health experts play in campus security.

Jack Titone, director of Public Safety for St. Louis University, says campuses need to be preventative as well as reactive, especially in response to the mass shooting at Virginia Tech two months ago.

"These are legally members of that institution so you need mechanisms to be able to identify these people and act appropriately," he said.

The task force will also hear public testimony Monday in Kansas City, and deliver its final report to the governor on August 15th.

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