HBCUs learn security tools for responding to campus threats
ATLANTA - Leaders of historically black colleges and universities in Atlanta are learning how to better respond to bomb threats.
It comes after Morehouse College instructed people on campus to shelter in place early last week after someone reported a suspicious package. Atlanta is home to other HBCUs threatened this year, including Spelman College.
Training presented by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency included discussions about how campus security and local law enforcement should respond to threats.
The event was open to school administrators and law enforcement from dozens of schools across the country.
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Michael Hodge, Executive director of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, said campus police chiefs responded admirably to the threats that were ultimately not deemed credible. He said the conference provided security and police with more tools and methods to protect campuses.
"We needed to make sure that we secure all of our campuses and deal with the stress and the anxiety that these kinds of things raise in our communities," Hodge said. "These things are historical in black communities and it's important we deal with them head-on."
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It's all to help HBCUs feel self-empowered when securing their campuses.
The national effort is one of a few federal measures taken to help HBCUs address threats. Vice President Kamala Harris announced new grants to help HBCUs impacted by the threats, including help from the Department of Justice and FBI.
Bomb threats at HBCUs
Monday's threat was It was not the first against Historically Black Colleges and Universities this year, not even Atlanta. Morehouse alerted its campus of a separate threat in February.
Spelman College also closed its campus due to a bomb threat.
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The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the FBI launched investigations into the bomb threats that started at the beginning of Black History Month.
They've not altogether stopped since the end of Black History Month.
"These threats are despicable. They are designed to make us feel fearful and vulnerable," Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D. said in a statement after the college closed its campus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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