Oklahoma Commission on School Security
Formed in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Connecticut, the Oklahoma Commission on School Security was established to evaluate school safety statewide and build a report to be presented to the Oklahoma Legislature with information and recommendations on how to enhance school security.
Led by Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, this non-partisan commission consisted of 22 committee members with unique experience from diverse fields including criminal investigation, education, engineering, mental health, and public safety. These committee members completed an intense study of school security issues and provided the following recommendations to the Oklahoma Legislature on March 5, 2013:
- Formation of the Oklahoma School Security Institute
- Establish a Mental Health First Aid Training Program
- Amend state law to consolidate and require school safety drills
- Require the reporting of firearms found on school property to local law enforcement.
- Establish a school security tip line.
Oklahoma School Security Institute
Based on the recommendations from the Oklahoma Commission on School Security, the Oklahoma School Security Institute (OSSI) was created by the Oklahoma State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin on April 17, 2013. OSSI was established as an official division of the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security on July 1, 2013 under Director Kim Edd Carter.
The Oklahoma School Security Institute acts as the central resource for all school security information, programs, and training in the State of Oklahoma. Any Oklahoma School (public, private, non-profit, and charter school as well as technology centers) may contact OSSI for programs and resources to enhance school security and assess risks and threats to school campuses.
The goals and objectives of OSSI include, but are not limited to:
- Maximizing school security training and support to Oklahoma Schools
- Assisting and coordinating with Oklahoma education professionals as required in the development and implementation of school safety drills
- Facilitating efforts of Oklahoma Schools to utilize any available programs or entities specializing in school security issues
- Creating and coordinating partnerships when necessary to continue developing and implementing new strategies and techniques for future recommendations on school security issues.
In accordance with the recommendations made by the Oklahoma Commission on School Security, the Oklahoma School Security Institute created and manages a tipline where reports of activity that may compromise the safety and security of any Oklahoma School may be submitted. All tips are reviewed and disseminated to the appropriate law enforcement agency and educational entity for additional investigation, should it be warranted.
This tipline provides students and parents with a method to provide critical information about potential dangers within their school without subjecting themselves or others to risks. The tipline is operated 24/7 by the Oklahoma Information Fusion Center (OIFC) and all information provided to the tipline can be made anonymously and is confidential.