The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has awarded Louisiana Christian University a Non-Profit Security Program grant (NSGP) of $148,500.
“Louisiana Christian University remains laser-focused on campus safety with the addition of this latest GOHSEP grant,” said President Dr. Rick Brewer. “Initiatives advancing campus safety and the welfare of our faculty, staff, and students have been at the top of my mind since Day 1 of my presidency. We are grateful for this expression of confidence for the intentional, forward-thinking work accomplished at LCU.”
This is the third grant and the largest the university has received over the last several years. The competitive grant process saw 80 or more applications from across the state.
“This award shows that the state of Louisiana has a strong commitment to making our campus safer for everyone,” said Dr. Henry O. Robertson, director of sponsored programs. The application this year proposed enhancements that are top notch and will continue our long-standing commitment to student safety and security.”
The award, administered over three years, will be used for state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) cameras that can pick up pre-programmed objects on screens and do smart searches from hours of videos using specific search terms.
These cameras will allow for quicker determination of threats and provide enhanced crime-fighting capabilities. With other funds, the campus will install a multi-directional siren that will warn the campus in the event of an emergency. While text updates are being used now for the campus community, the siren can reach campus visitors without a phone. The siren will provide a warning in the event of the loss of cell service or as a battery backup in the event of the loss of electricity.
Funds will also be used to purchase a generator so that vital communication links, cameras and local transport vehicles will remain charged and functional in the event of the loss of electrical power to campus.
“Providing the safest campus possible is our primary focus, and this grant will continue to allow LCU to do that,” said John Dauzat, chief of Safety and Security. “We have made great strides in the last several years to prevent some of the issues that other campuses have faced, and we will continue to be proactive.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security, grants have a focus each year. This year’s focus was on prevention: The FY 2023 NSGP focuses on enhancing the ability of nonprofit organizations to prevent and protect against terrorist attacks NSGP funds are focused on security-related activities and projects that will prevent or protect against potential terrorist attacks to nonprofit organizations that are at risk of a terrorist attack.” The rigorous application included a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) vulnerability assessment that the campus completed last spring.
According to the CISA assessment, the application must “Include the organization’s risks, vulnerabilities, and the proposed projects that are intended to address or mitigate the identified risks and vulnerabilities.”
Robertson said, “LCU was able to complete this assessment making that case strongly and providing an investment justification that presented an even stronger argument for the campus enhancements. Once deployed the cameras, siren and generator will add an additional layer of protection to strengthen the campus against all vulnerabilities.”