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West Keynotes

Monday, July 31

8:50 AM - 9:50 AM


Making a Difference in Campus Safety

A tribute to Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook

The mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Virginia Tech shook the campus protection community and our nation as a whole to its core.
This keynote will take a brief look back at those events from a victims’ and advocate/educators perspective to benchmark the progress made over the past decade in school and college safety attitudes, procedures and responses.  In addition, presenters will share perspectives and trends to consider when addressing violence and safety moving forward on our nation's campuses.  This presentation will honor, challenge, support and inspire attendees in their current public safety roles and serve as a catalyst for discussion and idea exchange.  

Kristina Anderson

Executive Director
Koshka Foundation

Safety is Personal: Lessons Learned as Survivor of the Virginia Tech Tragedy

As the world witnessed the tragedy that transpired on the Virginia Tech campus in April of 2007, the lives of Kristina Anderson and her classmates rapidly changed as a student gunman entered her classroom and committed one of the worst acts of violence in history. Shot three times within twelve minutes, Ms. Anderson will share a candid, first-hand account of her personal experience, the journey towards recovery, and her mission to educate others in how to take personal accountability to plan and help prevent violence within our institutions of learning. 

Michele Gay

Co-Founder/Executive Director
Safe and Sound: A Sandy Hook Initiative


School Safety: A Parent’s Perspective

Michele tells her personal story and recounts the lessons she learned on December 14, 2012 and in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook School tragedy. She shares the inspiring way she has chosen to help school communities improve school safety in honor of her daughter, Josephine, and memory of the other 19 children and six teachers lost on December 14, 2012. Michele’s perspective, as the mother of a special-needs child and former elementary school teacher, provides unique insight and inspiration for parents, administrators, school staff, emergency responders and community members who strive to make their schools safer. Michele Gay and the Safe and Sound foundation bring an important message to our communities, and represent a powerful presence in our national school safety community.

Day 2 Keynote

Tuesday, August 1

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Jim Bennett

FMR Chief/Interim Director of Public Safety, Trainer-Consultant
Central Oregon Community College Public Safety


Tragedy…A Lesson in Preparation, Response and Recovery


How many times have you sat in the audience at training and heard a chief executive sharing his or her experience of the disaster that has befallen their agency with the corrupt officer, rapist, thief, or any number of things that the one “bad-apple” can rain down on a department? Jim was just one of those audience members who thought how fortunate he was to work in an environment that had not experienced those types of incidents. Managing a campus public safety department in a nationally renowned tourist mecca, Bend Oregon, Jim had heard countless times, that “it’s Bend…nothing ever happens here!”.

In late July 2016, everything changed, because it DID happen in Bend, a homicide on his campus. However, this wasn’t some deranged murderer from the outskirts of town, the accused was an officer in Jim’s department. As the devastating news became reality and the profound sadness for the family of the victim sunk in, it was only the beginning of a long journey of response and recovery.

Jim will discuss the importance of supporting and keeping your team focused, “checking” every box on the “to-do” list of response, rebuilding trust and creating a recovery plan for critical incidents.  Jim will provide a literal “check list” of what cannot be forgotten when disaster or tragedy strikes and it rests on you to be prepared and responsive to the needs of or your department and campus community.  Ideal for smaller departments that do not “routinely” face critical incidents, but also relevant to larger departments as an opportunity to assess their own plans for response and recovery.

Keynote Sneak Peek

The recent Campus Safety Conference in Los Angeles provided a great opportunity to network with safety professionals and to increase my knowledge of critical issues facing our schools and students.