The University at Buffalo will host the 11th annual Safe Schools Initiative Seminar for law enforcement and schools on Monday, March 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Center for the Arts on the UB North Campus. The event is free, but registration is required.
This year's seminar - "The Role of Leadership in Making our Schools Safe" - will be led by retired U.S. Army Col. Danny R. McKnight, a distinguished and highly decorated veteran who served 28 1/2 years as a U.S. Army Ranger.
McKnight's presentation will highlight the unparalleled commitment and leadership required to be successful when executing operations in the most difficult and severe situations. Many key values associated with successful leadership will be demonstrated and referenced throughout the presentation. The real world experiences associated with his involvement in the event of October 1993 in Mogadishu, Somalia, will be expounded on to relate the commitment and leadership necessary to achieve mission success. His efforts as the commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment elements assigned to Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu were chronicled in the book "Black Hawk Down' and the movie by the same name.
"We need to make schools safer, and that can happen when we better prepare those working in the schools and in law enforcement to lead on this critical issue," said Dennis Black, UB vice president for university life and services. "Change for the better does not happen because we want it to. It happens when we have strong leadership. Our hope is that the Safe Schools program leads to safer schools."
The U.S. Secret Service, Buffalo Field Office, along with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York, and UB are founding program sponsors of the Annual Safe Schools Seminar, which is free and open to all who deal with school safety issues, including grade school, middle school, high school and district faculty, staff (administrators, counselors, psychologists, school resource officers, etc.) and school board members; college/university administrators; police officers and other law enforcement officials; and school transportation professionals.
"Bringing educators together with law enforcement and community advocates paves the way for a multi-pronged, proactive approach to addressing school violence," said U.S. Attorney William Hochul. "To be clear, our office will continue to prosecute aggressively those who attempt to harm our children in our schools. But by working together, we have the best possible chance to prevent tragedies from happening in the first place."
In addition to the founding program sponsors of the Safe Schools Seminar, this year's event includes the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a member since 2007. The exclusive seminar sponsor is Utica National Insurance Group, which has provided vital support for the seminar since 2009. Hodgson Russ LLP and the Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation rejoin this year's event as community partner sponsors.
For more information about this free seminar, the speaker and to register, visit https://www.ubevents.org/event/safeschools2014.