June 30, 2021
Virginia Commonwealth University today announced a series of recommendations to transform public safety and well-being on campus.
The recommendations were developed by the Safety and Well-being Advisory Committee, which organized last fall after VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., pledged to reimagine the safety and well-being of the campus community.
Among the recommendations are plans to increase training opportunities and mental support resources, steps to encourage greater oversight, accountability and transparency, and an expansion of public safety supports, including the creation of a new interdisciplinary crisis and de-escalation team. The final recommendations can be viewed at safetymodel.vcu.edu/final-report/.
“We recognize that there are many perspectives and differences of opinion about policing in America. [The committee’s] charge was to consider ideas to support and improve public safety and the well-being of our students, faculty and staff. Our recommendations reflect those ideas,” said Sheryl Garland, chief of health impact for VCU Health System.
Many of the recommendations will be implemented within the next six to 12 months while others may require additional time.
The committee consisted of students, faculty, staff and community members and was charged with defining the components of a new transformational model for public safety and well-being to better meet the VCU community’s needs. The committee pledged to take a thorough, balanced and inclusive examination of safety and well-being at VCU, considering these topics from a variety of viewpoints.
“It was important to us that this work included many perspectives and empowered those who maybe didn't feel like they had a voice to share their perspectives,” said Andrew Daire, Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of Education.
Visit safetymodel.vcu.edu to learn more about the committee and its work.
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