202688 Reducing firearm related violence on college campuses: Police chiefs perceptions and practices

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:15 PM

Amy J. Thompson, PhD, CHES , Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
James H. Price, PhD, MPH , Department of Public Health, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Adam J. Mrdjenovich, PhD , Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, MPH , Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
This study assessed university police chiefs' perceptions and practices concerning firearm violence and its reduction on college campuses. Police chiefs are in a unique position to be involved in campus safety management and to implement threat response strategies. A random national sample of 600 campus police chiefs was selected using the Directory of the International Association for College Law Enforcement Administrators. The questionnaire used was designed to determine the perceived roles of campus police chiefs/directors of public safety in reducing firearm related violence on college campuses. Institutionalization of firearm policies and opinions of various potential firearm polices were also explored. The 4 page questionnaire was mailed in fall 2008 using a two wave mailing procedure to ensure adequate response rates. A total of 417 (70%) questionnaires were returned. A firearm incident had occurred in the past year on 25% of campuses and on 35% of campuses within the past 5 years. The majority of campuses (57%) had a plan in place for longer than a year to deal with an “active shooter” on campus. Virtually all (97%) of the campuses had a policy in place that prohibited firearms on campus. The primary barrier (46%) to a highly visible campus plan for preventing firearms violence was the perception that firearms violence was not a problem on their campus. A greater awareness and appreciation of the potential for many more firearm disasters on college campuses and how to prevent them is needed.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the perceived role of campus police chiefs in addressing various firearm violence issues on college campuses. Identify the role of various groups in minimizing firearm violence on college campuses. Describe various strategies which can be explored to prevent firearm related campus violence (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary prevention).

Keywords: Firearms, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Ph.D in health education and have published in the area of firearms.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.