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January 23, 2002

Sandia co-sponsors 2nd nationwide school safety workshop for administrators, security officers, and police

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — More than 200 school administrators, security professionals, law enforcement officials, and researchers from throughout the country gather today in Arlington, Va., for a three-day workshop in school safety and security.

The “School Safety: Technologies, Research, and Emerging Concepts” conference, Jan. 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency at Crystal City, is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories, the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, and George Mason University’s (GMU) Center for Justice Leadership and Management.

See http://www.gmu.edu/departments/pia/adj for details about the workshop and session topics.

The conference is a chance for administrators, school security personnel, and law enforcement officials who work with schools to learn about comprehensive approaches to school safety and the latest in security technologies that can contribute to safer schools from some of the top experts in the field, as well as to share information about what works in school security.

Sandia hosted the first-ever national school safety conference in Dallas in July 2000. (See http://www.sandia.gov/media/NewsRel/NR2000/security.htm.)

“School crime is a concern of every family in America,” says Mary Green of Sandia’s School Security Technologies and Resource (SSTAR) Center. “This conference can provide educators with a variety of security approaches that will help them deal with the problems they face every day, which can make schools better places to learn.”

The workshop’s sessions are presented by technology experts, federal officials concerned with school safety, and school and police personnel. They are designed for individuals without technical backgrounds.

Discussion topics include problem solving, critical incident planning and response, concealed weapons and drug detection, targeted violence, and gang-resistance education and training. Exhibits and product demonstrations by security technology vendors complement the workshop sessions (Jan. 24 only).

Sandia’s SSTAR Center in Albuquerque, N.M., serves as an independent advisor to school administrators and security professionals. It draws on Sandia’s decades of experience designing security systems as part of its mission to protect nuclear weapons and materials.

In recent years Sandia has applied that experience to deterring violent crime, theft, vandalism, and drug and alcohol use on school campuses using proven technologies and security principles. Sandia researchers often conduct vulnerability analyses of school grounds or advise principals, teachers, parents, and law enforcement personnel about ways to curtail and respond to campus crime. (See http://www.sandia.gov/media/schools.htm for results of one such Sandia project at a New Mexico high school.)

Schools often don’t have a lot of money, so part of Sandia’s role is to advise educators on technical as well as practical, often non-technical solutions to a school’s security problems. Affordability is a primary issue.

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

GMU media contact:
Patricia Snelling, jpsnellin@gmu.edu, (703) 993-8783

Sandia media contact:
John German, jdgerma@sandia.gov, (505) 844-5199

National Institute of Justice home page:

Community Oriented Policing Services home page:

George Mason University home page:

Sandia National Laboratories home page:

More about Sandia’s school security work can be found at:

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