Whittier College News Release

Whittier College
Office of Public Relations
13406 Philadelphia St.
P.O. Box 634
Whittier, CA 90608-0634

Media Contact: Dana Rakoczy, Director of Public Relations, (562) 907-4216
                     Bernard Alex, Chief, Department of Campus Safety, (562) 907-4211

Reference: 2004-05 #5


Whittier, CA (October 5, 2004)—In conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Domestic Preparedness, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Agencies (IACLEA) has selected Whittier College as one of the West Coast site sponsors for the “Weapons of Mass Destruction Awareness Train-the-Trainer” course. The goal of the course, which will only be offered 500 times nationwide over a two-year period, is to ultimately prepare nearly 30,000 college and university campus law enforcement and public safety officers as domestic terror first-responders.

The two-day seminar will be held on October 28 and 29 at the Richard Ettinger Faculty Center on the Whittier College campus in Whittier, California; the seminar is currently offered to members of college and university campus safety and municipal agencies at no cost to the participant. Graduates of the course will be expected to conduct three presentations of an eight-hour Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Awareness Course for first-responders. The course curriculum was developed by the National Center for Biomedical Research & Training, Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education, located at Louisiana State University and includes discussion of properties, effects of, and methods of delivery/dispersal of potential WMDs as well as priorities for protection of persons, environment, and property during WMD incidents.

The program is part of a $2 million grant awarded to the IACLEA by the federal government in recognition of the significant need for trained first-responder personnel at the more than 4,000 institutes of primary, secondary, and higher learning currently operating in the United States. 

“This is the first time campus public safety has been recognized on this scale for direct receipt of federal training dollars,” notes Kenneth A. Willett, IACLEA president and University of Montana public safety director. “Historically, this type of training has never been available for our officers, but the significant vulnerability inherent in a campus environment demands an immediate change. Fortunately, the funding agencies have recognized and responded to this need.”  

“We are thrilled that Whittier College is going to play an active role in a program that will ultimately have a far-reaching impact,” said Bernard Alex, chief and director of Whittier’s Department of Campus Safety. “Without question, campus safety personnel should be able to quickly and appropriately respond to domestic terror situations—or to work in conjunction with local law agencies—should the need arise. This training opportunity is the first vital step.” 

To date, 25 members of campus law enforcement and municipal agencies all over Southern California have registered for this “Train-the-Trainer” course. 

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts. Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is located on separate campus in Costa Mesa.

Whittier College Office of Communications
13406 Philadelphia » P.O. Box 634 » Whittier, CA 90608-0634
Tel: (562) 907-4213 » Fax: (562) 907-4927