Special Event Services
The Special Projects Office is a division of the Public Safety Department with the following areas: Special Events, Emergency and Crisis Planning, Research and Development, and Special Operations.
Each year, university organizations and outside groups sponsor a wide variety of events on campus. These include church liturgies, conventions, athletic games to international speakers to dances and concerts, and national youth camps. The safety and security of those who host and attend these events is of utmost importance. Planning any event is challenging. The Special Projects Office works with clients in assessing the safety needs related to the event. This includes parking, city permits, additional public safety staffing including public safety officers, police officers and fire/paramedics. The office will also assist in identifying and developing emergency plans for the events. The Special Projects Office works very closely with other university service providers including Scheduling, Grounds, Food Service, and the Physical Plant. Additionally, these and other key services providers meet on a weekly basis through SPOG (St. Paul Operations Group) to review upcoming events and evaluate the ones from the past week. (Click here for public safety considerations in planning an event.)
Emergency and Crisis Planning
During the past several years, there is a national focus on how higher education institutions respond to fires, hazardous material spills, campus shootings, weather disasters, and other campus wide emergencies. The Special Projects Office is responsible for the review, updating and communication of the department's emergency response plan and other emergency and crisis plan information to the broader university community including writing publications and providing training sessions. It works closely with the Environmental Health and Safety division of the Physical Plant and public emergency agencies with fire and medical responses, fire protection and inspections, hazardous spills and chemicals, and training. The office also facilitates evaluations of crisis, emergencies and the operational systems.
Research and Development
The area of public safety is very complex. It involves organizational development, student development, laws and legal matters, crisis intervention skills, planning, cultural diversity, technology, drugs and alcohol, human resources, community relations, communication and many other areas. The office of Special Projects is responsible for reviewing best practices and current research in the development of the department and its employees. It also will research, develop, and evaluate new operational areas for the department and university. It tracks federal and state legislation and other policies that relate to public safety and analyzes its impact on the operation of the department or university.
This office works very closely with the other operational areas of the department. In many cases there are projects that will overlap multiple areas. This supports these areas in coordination and development of their projects or operations. Additionally, it will assist in training needs assessments and development for the department. The office provides guidance and focus in response other current emerging areas and trends in public safety.