State lawmakers, college students unaware that many schools not following the Campus Security Act


SPRINGFIELD – Several state lawmakers say they didn’t know a law they passed after the Northern Illinois University shootings isn’t being enforced – and some vow to tighten the statute when legislators return to Springfield early next year.

A three-month investigation by ChicagoTalks found that a fraction of Cook County’s 63 higher education institutions appear to be complying with the Illinois Campus Security Enhancement Act of 2008.

The law — unanimously passed by both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly — requires nearly 200 higher education institutions statewide to create violence prevention and all-hazard emergency response plans; establish behavior assessment teams to track suspicious activity on campus; and hold annual training.
Officials at three public agencies named in the law insist none of them is responsible for enforcing it.

“We probably will have what’s called a trailer bill or follow-up legislation to clarify who in fact is going to be responsible for the collection and evaluation of this information,” said Sen. Edward Maloney (D-Chicago), who sponsored the original bill and chairs the Senate’s Higher Education Committee.

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