Colorado’s School Buses get security boost, Force Multiplier as Susan Miller receives 2019 Pupil Transportation Safety Award from Child Safety Network™ (CSN™)

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Susan Miller collaborated with CSN, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the Colorado Department of Education (her employer), to begin training school districts in ways to make school buses more difficult targets to those who may wish to use them to harm Colorado students.

Today, leaders from across the state spent the day at the Boulder Transportation Department to learn how to train other industry professionals to determine suspicious activities.

Child Safety Network (best known as “CSN”) awarded Susan Miller, Colorado State Director of Pupil Transportation, with their highest state honor for excellence in school bus safety & security.

Susan Miller collaborated with CSN, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the Colorado Department of Education (her employer), to begin training school districts in ways to make school buses more difficult targets to those who may wish to use them to harm Colorado students.

Today, leaders from across the state spent the day at the Boulder Transportation Department to learn how to train other industry professionals to determine suspicious activities, activities that could place our students in harm’s way, and how to resolve these threats quickly and safely.

The TSA is the division of the Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for all surface and air transportation. The TSA is empowered to protect our school buses. This year marks the 7th year in a row that CSN and the TSA have been unanimously commended by the United States Senate. The important role they play in the education and training of over 100,000 school bus officials and operators has been recognized by the US Congress. Read Resolution.

“CSN requested that the TSA send trainers from Washington, DC to sites in Boulder, CO and Colorado Springs, CO. CSN invited all 171 school districts to volunteer to learn and become a force multiplier, by becoming trainers themselves. Susan Miller organized the events and deserves this award for her critical role in protecting students, and for her many years of service dedicated to Colorado’s pupil transportation system,” said Ward Leber, Founder of CSN.

After receiving the award, Susan Miller had this to say: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this award. Working at the Colorado Department of Education, and with all the amazing people in the school transportation community in Colorado, is truly my honor and privilege. I believe this training is extremely important for the safety of the approximately 365,000 students we transport daily, as well as for all of the dedicated school transportation staff that work so diligently to provide safe transportation for our students.”

CSN believes that school buses are easy targets with the most vulnerable passengers, our children. We believe that the future of our nation is literally riding on the American school bus system. It is our mission to develop, execute, and administer programs that result in safer school buses and students. The recruitment of school bus drivers, state of the art technology, and advanced driver training are critical to ensure that our students enjoy the safest way to travel to and from school; In fact, the bus is 70 times safer than walking, riding a bike, or being driven in another vehicle.

CSN Senior Advisor on School Bus Security, and former TSA manager for all forms of surface transportation nationwide, Bill Arrington had this to say about the trainings in Colorado: “The school bus industry is the largest public transportation sector in the nation, transporting our most precious cargo, our children. The safety of the school bus, and our children, while traveling to and from school is of the utmost importance. Though the security of our buses and children has not been given the necessary attention, to protect both the vehicle and our children against the vulnerabilities they face from a possible attack, CSN’s initiatives will address these issues and increase the safety of our school buses. Upon the creation of the First Observer™ Program (Plus), I learned very early that pupil transportation professionals are some of the hardest working and most dedicated individuals I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I applaud Susan Miller of the Colorado DOE, and Ward Leber of CSN, for continuing to partner with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to train our pupil transportation professionals to be better prepared to protect of children. I would also like to thank David Cooper and Andrea DiSpirito of TSA for continuing my legacy; and their dedication to keeping our children safe and secure. Remember, security is everyone’s responsibility and together we can make a difference.

About Susan Miller:

Susan M Miller – School Transportation Unit Supervisor – Colorado Department of Education. Susan has over 30 years of experience in the school transportation industry as a Driver, Special Education Paraprofessional, and Director of Transportation of Benzie Central Schools, and Traverse City Area Public Schools, in northern Michigan. During the summer months she worked as a 911 Dispatcher for the Benzie County Sheriff Department. For over 10 years, she was a Beginning, Advanced and Supervisor Trainer for the Michigan Department of Education. She also volunteered as an Emergency Medical Technician for over 30 years. Susan is an accomplished pianist and vocalist, having performed with two former Grammy Award winning gospel artists. Susan started her career in 2014 as a Transportation Analyst with the Colorado Department of Education and currently serves as the Supervisor of the School Transportation Unit for the Department of Education. Her work at CDE includes providing training statewide on a variety of subjects, and monitoring public school and charter school district transportation operations compliance. She is also the Chairperson of the Colorado Operation Lifesaver Board, Chairperson of the CDE Transportation Advisory Council, she has served as the Western State Director for the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) for the past 3 years and was recently voted in for a two year term as the Secretary of NASDPTS.

About Bill Arrington

CSN Professional Adviser on Surface Transportation and School Bus Security. Bill has devoted his professional life to keeping citizens safe on a local, regional and national level. After retiring from the Transportation Security Association (TSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in January of 2017, CSN is honored to have access to his continued commitment to help us protect American children. Starting in 1974 Bill was sworn in as a Maryland State Trooper and for more than 28 years he enjoyed a very noteworthy and remarkable career of service with the Maryland State Police. Retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Bill served in a variety of assignments with his last as the Deputy Superintendent, Chief of the Field Operations Bureau. In October 2002, Bill answered the call again to serve with the creation of the TSA under the United States Department of Transportation following the 9/11 attack. In 2003, TSA along with 22 other legacy organizations transitioned to the newly formed DHS, which consists of more than 220,000 employees and second only in size to the Department of Defense. TSA’s initial focus was aviation security. Bill served as one of the first Directors for Aviation Operations and had the responsibility for overseeing and transforming airport security from a contract security workforce into a federal workforce at all commercial airports across the United States.

In 2006, when appointed to the position of General Manager for the Office of Highway and Motor Carrier Security under TSA’s Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement Directorate, Bill had primary responsibility for commercial motor vehicle security. This included oversight for trucks, motor coach (bus) and school bus, as well as the national critical infrastructure (bridges and tunnels) throughout U.S. transportation systems, which consist of more than four million miles of highway.

In 2012, Bill assumed added responsibility and oversight for Mass Transit and Passenger Rail (more than 6,000 local transit providers), Freight Rail (more than 500 regional and short line railroads operating on more than 162,000 miles of active track), Pipeline (more than 3,000 companies operating over 2.1 million miles of pipeline) and Maritime (passenger vessels) security for our nation’s transportation systems. Bill’s experience and expertise are reflective of his ability to proactively lead and manage complex issues within critical transportation security systems across all surface modes of transportation in this country.

About CSN:

Since 1989, CSN has been a national leader in the delivery of free resources and programs designed to protect children. CSN has been endorsed by over 500 U.S. representatives including the current and past five presidential administrations. Last month, all 100 U.S. Senators joined in a unanimous resolution to support CSN’s work in the area of school bus safety & Security and this year the House of Representatives also advanced a bipartisan Resolution. CSN’s mission is to prevent the likelihood of children becoming victims of abuse, abduction, injury and exploitation. We act as a collaborate=or and and administrator to bring vital resources to equally vital needs that result in the safety of children Many caring celebrities help us spread the word to parents on how to find our free sources: http://www.CSN.org/stars. Equally important to CSN’s mission is to collaborate with community organizations and businesses that care about helping parents raise safer, healthier children. Our work in youth violence prevention and intervention is evidenced based and the most effective on record. Stay tuned for CSN’s 30th Anniversary and the re-launch of http://www.CSN.org with new tools and expanded resources. To contact CSN call 800-906-6901. Or e-mail media@CSN.org.

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