This week, in response to the tragedy at Virginia Tech University, Western University began conducting a review of its emergency safety procedures. In immediate response to the Virginia Tech tragedy, you will have noticed that the number of campus safety officers on campus has been increased. This increased staffing will continue while the University’s emergency operations plans are being reviewed. To give increased emphasis to enhancing the University’s current security plan, I appointed an Emergency Management Organization (EMO), headed by the University’s Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Mr. Brett Boston. This organization is comprised of key University faculty, officials, security consultants and students, who will work together to enhance the University’s emergency procedures. The EMO held its first meeting last Tuesday. On Friday, the EMO met with the Pomona Police Chief, Joe Romero, along with Board of Trustee members Linda L. Crans and Dr. David Sadava, to examine best practices to use in emergency situations, including fires, earthquakes, terrorist attacks or active shooter situations – like the one at Virginia Tech earlier this week. Chief Romero has offered the direct involvement of himself and his emergency response staff on the University’s EMO. Other critical community agency representatives will also join this group. As more information has become available regarding the Virginia Tech event, the EMO has identified a variety of preventive and emergency response issues: training on early identification and appropriate intervention with troubled individuals; emergency communication capacities on campus and their effectiveness; enhanced monitoring of campus facilities; coordination between the university and community "first responders" (police, fire, EMT, etc.); and improved strategies for disseminating university security plans and emergency response protocols to the campus community, among other strategies. The EMO will provide regular updates to the campus community as they work through all these various options. Finally, I have instructed the EMO identify an optimal set of strategies that will maximize campus security without necessarily turning the campus into an armed camp. No organization can make itself 100% secure from all possible threats, and the role of any University will not allow it to seal itself off from the rest of the world. But I have faith that coordinated efforts of the EMO will lead the University to the right balance of effective strategies that would enhance our personal safety while still allowing us to continue our efforts at teaching, research, and community service. Philip Pumerantz, PhD