Leahy: Justice Department Grant Will Fund New, Vermont-Based National Center For Campus Public Safety

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded a $2.3 million grant to establish a new National Center for Campus Public Safety, to be based in Burlington, Vt.

Leahy said the grant has been awarded to Vermont-based Margolis Healy & Associates LLC, which will create the center in partnership with the University of Vermont (UVM).

Establishing and leading the National Center is the responsibility of Margolis Healy, a national consulting firm specializing in educational safety and security, headed by former UVM Police Chief Gary J. Margolis and Steven J. Healy, former Director of Public Safety at Princeton University.  The National Center will serve the safety and security needs of higher education throughout the United States.  The National Center was chartered by Congress earlier this year with bipartisan support, in the wake of recent school tragedies.

Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Justice Department, said:  “The National Center will be a focal point in helping our schools find the training, information and support they need to respond to the security challenges of the 21st Century, and I am proud that Burlington will be the home base where such vital work will be done.  Gary Margolis, Steven Healy and their team are superbly qualified to help our education institutions meet these emerging security needs.”

The National Center for Campus Public Safety will be a centralized resource for campus police chiefs, directors of public safety, emergency managers and key campus safety stakeholders at the nation’s colleges and universities.  It will bring together many forms of campus public safety, professional associations, advocacy organizations, community leaders, and others to improve and expand their resources to ensure the safety and security of their students and communities.

The grant will enable the new National Center to promote innovative practices specific to campus public safety efforts and develop comprehensive responses, resources and strategies, drawing from contemporary practices and the latest thinking on school safety and security.  Through the National Center, Margolis Healy will deliver essential training and technical assistance to campus security teams, student affairs professionals and key stakeholders and coordinate resources germane to the safety of students and teachers.  Leahy said the National Center also will bring jobs to Vermont and support the local economy through its partnership with the University of Vermont, including national meetings and conferences, training programs and related services. 

“Those with the vision and foresight to create the National Center did so with the intent of ensuring the safety and security of our nation’s schools.  The National Center will serve this need, and more.  Margolis Healy is honored to play such an important role in this vision, and to bring the National Center to Vermont,” said Margolis.

Margolis and Healy founded Margolis Healy in January 2008.  They each have more than 15 years of experience in providing consulting services to clients in public and private education sectors.  Dr. Margolis served as chief of police at the University of Vermont for more than a decade.

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