SMU recognized by U.S. Department of Homeland Security for antiterrorism preparedness, effectiveness under the SAFETY Act
The SMU Police Department & Emergency Management Program has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for antiterrorism preparedness and effectiveness.
In the process, SMU has become the first university in the United States to receive the SAFETY Act Designation, conferred to providers of “qualified antiterrorism technologies that could save lives in the event of a terrorist attack.”
The University was recognized for “employ[ing] exceptional efforts to promote security/safety on campus.” The SMU Police Department submitted its antiterrorism preparedness program to the DHS Office of SAFETY Act for evaluation.
The DHS evaluation focused on two factors: the effectiveness of the program to substantially reduce risks of harm; and its demonstrated substantial effectiveness upon deployment or use.
SMU initiated antiterrorism planning after Sept. 11, 2001 and has built upon the effort in each successive year. The program was tested in preparation for the George W. Bush Presidential Center dedication ceremonies, as well as during the event itself, when all five living U.S. presidents visited the SMU campus.
The Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act was enacted by Congress as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. To attain SAFETY Act Designation, an entity must submit extensive documentation of its anti-terrorism program, including training, drills and exercises, planning, and partnerships with other terrorism response agencies at the local, state and federal levels.