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The Blueprint for Campus Police: A Collaborative Response to Sexual Assault

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 9:00am

The Blueprint for Campus Police
A Collaborative Response to Sexual Assault

November 29th, 2017
9:00am - 4:30pm
Giant Community Center, 3301 Trindle Rd, Camp Hill, PA 17011


Campus-based law enforcement, campus administrators, Title IX Coordinators, sexual assault advocates, sexual assault response team members, and allied professionals


Goal: Attendees will be able to return to their communities and campus police departments with knowledge of the current research, scope, dynamics, and impact of sexual assault in campus environments. This knowledge will allow participants to reflect on, and integrate, survivor-centered best practices in their agency’s policies and practices and to engage their community partners in establishing a collaborative response.

Description: In an era of intense public scrutiny of campus sexual assault, campus police and their partners play pivotal roles in the lives of students and in their campus communities. With this in mind, The Blueprint for Campus Police: Responding to Sexual Assault was developed as a practical, empirically based policing tool designed to enhance collaborative responses in campus communities. This Blueprint workshop will present research findings on the scope of campus sexual assault and its impact on students. Attendees will learn best practices and emerging techniques for victim engagement that account for the effects of sexual assault trauma, from point of outcry through a criminal investigation. We will apply this knowledge to a case study of a delayed campus sexual assault report to a municipal agency. Presenters will guide participants through a discussion of how to apply survivor-centered best practices to sexual assault response, and identify opportunities to build community partnerships to better serve victims and the campus as a whole. The goal is to bring disciplines together to build collective understanding of this crime, discuss how we can better serve and engage victims in order to hold offenders accountable, promote healing, and keep campus communities safe. 

Learning objectives:
After the training participants will be able to: 

1) Describe the dynamics of campus sexual assault and the impact of trauma 
2) Discuss current campus legislation and requirements related to sexual assault 
3) Develop strategies to enhance help-seeking for student victims and be able to identify on- and off-campus reporting options for student-victims 
4) Identify opportunities to mitigate trauma through victim engagement 
5) Identify key campus and community partners, to include discussing the benefits, challenges, and best practices for collaboration
6) Develop strategies for prevention and intervention within criminal justice, university, and community contexts that better address campus sexual assault


Geoffrey Merritt
Police Inspector II and Academy Trainer, University of Texas System Police (ODOP)  
Geoffrey Merritt has been in law enforcement since 1997. Inspector Merritt coordinates the curriculum and trains for the UT System Police Academy. He is the Program Manager for the Basic Peace Officer Course. Inspector Merritt has served on three different college campuses ranging from small private institutions to large public universities.  He has served as a patrol officer, field training supervisor, patrol supervisor, department recruiter and crime prevention unit supervisor.  He has presented at state and regional conferences for Texans Standing Tall and the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission’s College Alcohol Symposium on alcohol enforcement issues.  He also presented at the 12th annual U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Leadership National Conference.  Inspector Merritt has presented nationally on webinars for Campus Outreach Services on the topic of sexual assault.  He is an Advanced Instructor for the Sexual Assault Family Violence Investigator’s Course (SAFVIC) that teaches police officers to effectively investigate sexual assault and family violence cases.  He was selected by the cadets of the 92nd University of Texas System Police Academy as the Instructor of the Year in 2011.   Geoffrey Merritt has a Bachelor of Science degree and has a master peace officer license from the State of Texas.  He is a certified TCOLE police instructor and basic Hostage Negotiator.  Geoffrey Merritt is a member of the Texas Municipal Police Association and the Texas Crime Prevention Association.  He became a Certified Crime Prevention Specialist in 2010. 

Caitlin Sulley, LMSW
Director of Sexual Assault Research Portfolio, Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
Caitlin Sulley, LMSW, is Director of the Sexual Assault Research Portfolio at the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (IDVSA) at The University of Texas (UT) at Austin, Steve Hicks School of Social Work. Since joining IDVSA in 2012, she has provided oversight and support to research and training initiatives focused on institutional response to sexual assault, gender-based violence among college populations, and victim-centered engagement in the criminal justice system. Since 2016, she has directed the Cultivating Learning and Safe Environments (CLASE) project, a research initiative on sexual harassment, stalking, dating/domestic violence, and sexual assault at thirteen UT System institutions. In response to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault’s call to action, Ms. Sulley co-authored The Blueprint for Campus Police: Responding to Sexual Assault in partnership with UT System Police and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. She has directed research and training/technical assistance projects on victim notification in cases of untested sexual assault kits. As a trained Expert Witness, Ms. Sulley has testified in cases on victim behavior in the aftermath of sexual assault and dating violence. She has served sexual assault survivors as a victim services counselor in a police department and as a counselor and advocate at a rape crisis center. Ms. Sulley is a Licensed Master Social Worker in the State of Texas. Prior to moving to Texas, she worked in the maternal and child health field in New Jersey. Ms. Sulley received a Master of Science in Social Work from UT Austin in 2013 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rutgers University in 2007. 

Jennifer Thompson 
Campus Law Enforcement Specialist, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault 
Jennifer Thompson was raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina and returned to the U.S. to attend the University of Texas at Austin. In 2002 she was commissioned as an officer in the United States Public Health Service and served with the Indian Health Service in Tucson, AZ. She is currently working towards her Masters of Public Health at Michigan State University. Jennifer Thompson joined the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) in 2014 and serves as the campus law enforcement specialist. Ms. Thompson serves as an advisor, conducts trainings, and provides technical assistance on a variety of campus sexual assault related topics. Her areas of particular expertise include the dynamics and impact of sexual assault, barriers to reporting, victim-centered responses, institutional betrayal, and secondary victimization. She has presented on these topics at local, regional, statewide, and national conferences. In addition to her work with TAASA, she is a certified TCOLE instructor at the University of Texas System Police Academy where she teaches courses on crime victimization and sexual assault to cadets coming from across the state of Texas. 

Jennifer is a survivor of sexual assault on a university campus. She is passionate about helping to create an effective trauma-informed and victim-centered criminal justice system response. Jennifer shares her experience of interacting with the criminal justice system from initial report with law enforcement through prosecution and beyond, in the hopes that it will help provide insight and understanding regarding potential barriers to reporting, and the dynamics and impact of this crime - from a victim’s point of view. 

Cory Campbell
Director of Residence Life, Seton Hill University
Cory received his MA in Student Affairs and Higher Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  In addition to his work with the Department of Residence Life, Cory is a member of Setonians Advocating for Gender Equity, Fearless Advocacy for Men's Engagement, and coordinator for bystander trainings.

Mae Palacios
Mae is Blackburn Center’s Systems Advocate. In addition to providing, direct service to victims of sexual and domestic violence, Mae trains professionals and pre-professionals from a variety of backgrounds on providing a victim-centered response to gender-based violence. Mae works closely with higher education professionals and students to strengthen their systemic and individual responses to victims of violence. She is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. 

Hotel Details

Participants are responsible for their own travel and hotel expenses.  
If you plan to stay overnight, here are a few hotel options within a few miles of the training location.

Radisson Hotel Harrisburg 
1150 Camp Hill Bypass, Camp Hill, PA 17011
Phone: (717) 763-7117

Hilton Harrisburg
1 N 2nd St, Harrisburg, PA 17101
Phone: (717) 233-6000

Hampton Inn 
4950 Ritter Rd. 
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
(717) 691-1300

Courtyard Harrisburg West/Mechanicsburg
4921 Gettysburg Rd. 
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
(717) 766-9006

Register Now! 

To register, click this link!


Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 9:00am to 4:30pm