University Releases Report of the Inclusive Public Safety Working Group

December 16, 2020

The University released its Report of the Inclusive Public Safety Working Group in response to President Bollinger’s July 2020 call to action on Columbia’s anti-racism commitment. The Report of the Inclusive Public Safety Working Group includes observations and initial recommendations from this working group of students, faculty and staff from across the University.

“Speaking on behalf of the entire Public Safety team, we are glad to collaborate and be a part of this important work,” said James F. McShane, Vice President of Columbia University Public Safety. “We look forward to building upon an already strong foundation and working with the Working Group to implement the report’s recommendations, with the goal of ensuring that every person on campus feels that public safety at Columbia embodies the definition of inclusive public safety that the report embraces.”

The report was released as part of a midyear progress report for the fall term of 2020 on Columbia’s commitment to anti-racism.

At President Bollinger’s request, a University-wide Working Group on Inclusive Public Safety, including students, faculty and staff, has been meeting regularly since early September with this charge: to work with the leadership of the Department of Public Safety to examine existing trainings and practices and to recommend concrete strategies for ensuring that we can have truly inclusive safety for all who are on Columbia’s campuses. Suzanne Goldberg, Executive Vice President for University Life, and Flores Forbes, Associate Vice President for Community Affairs, co-lead the group. The Working Group’s three subcommittees have focused on gathering experiences, insights and suggestions from Columbia community members; reviewing training and capacity-building efforts within Columbia’s Department of Public Safety, and identifying promising practices from other higher education institutions and other settings that might be adapted for Columbia.

Several members of Public Safety joined students, faculty and staff from a variety of schools and central offices on the Morningside and Medical Center campuses on the Working Group.