Dr. Kenneth S. Trump: School Safety Expert

Meet School Security Expert, Presenter, and Consultant: “Dr. Ken” Trump

If you are looking for a preK-12 school security and emergency preparedness expert, presenter, and consultant with practical school experience, strong academic and training credentials, demonstrated school safety expert thought leadership from the local school board to national levels, and the communications skills to relate to diverse and multidisciplinary audiences, then Kenneth S. Trump, Ed.D., is the school safety expert to meet your needs.

Dr. Ken’s more than four decades experience in the preK-12 school safety field brings:

  • Experience
  • Credibility
  • Cutting-Edge Knowledge
  • Voice of Reason
  • Ability to Simplify Complex School Safety Issues

(Dr. Ken is no relation to the former U.S. President – a frequently asked question.)

We offer school safety services performed by “school people.” We understand school climate, culture, and school-community relations issues related to school safety.

School Safety Expert Leadership

KENNETH S. TRUMP, Ed.D., is President of National School Safety and Security Services, a Cleveland-based national consulting firm specializing in school security and emergency preparedness training, school security assessments, school emergency planning consultations, crisis school safety communications, litigation consulting and expert witness support, and related school safety and crisis consulting services.  “Dr. Ken” is one of the nation’s leading school safety experts with more than four decades of front-line public and private urban, suburban, and rural school security experience working with school and safety officials from all 50 states and internationally.

Ken served as founder and supervisor of the nationally-recognized Youth Gang Unit for the school safety division of the Cleveland City Schools, and as a suburban Cleveland school security director.  He also served as assistant director of a federal funded anti-gang task force for three Cleveland suburbs.

Ken is the author, co-author and/or editor of three books, five book chapters and more than 450 articles on school safety issues. Ken authored his first best-selling book, Practical School Security: Basic Guidelines for Safe and Secure Schools(Corwin Press) in 1998.  He is also the author of Proactive School Security and Emergency Preparedness Planning. He provides litigation consulting and expert witness services, and counsels state and federal lawmakers on school safety policies and crisis response.

Dr. Ken’s school safety leadership includes:

  • Four-time invited United States Congressional witness, providing school safety testimony to the House and Senate:
    1. Trump Testifying Congress 2009House Education and Labor Committee Joint Subcommittee hearing on strengthening federal school safety July 8, 2009.
    2. House Homeland Security Committee hearing on school emergency readiness May 17, 2007.
    3. House Education and Labor Committee hearing on school security issues April 23, 2007.
    4. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee school safety hearing May 9, 1999.
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) invited expert panelist on Best Practices and Considerations for Implementation of Active Shooter Drills; July 11, 2024.
  • Invited expert witness providing testimony on the federal role in local school bullying at a May 13, 2011, hearing of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
  • Panel presenter, International Behavioural Analysis Week Online Conference; October, 2020.
  • Presenter-Mega Events: School Shootings, International Behavioural Analysis Conference; May 23, 2019.
  • Keynote presenter, Education Law Association national conference; November 8, 2018.
  • Keynote co-presenter on School Safety, Johns Hopkins EdD Residency luncheon; July 23, 2018.
  • Plenary panel presenter on School Safety, Education Commission of the States annual conference; June 29, 2018.
  • Panel presenter on School Safety, Education Writers Association annual conference; May 17, 2018.
  • Invited panel presenter: Books over Bullets: Keeping our Schools Safe, The Cleveland City Club; April 18, 2018.
  • Panel presenter on school safety, Council of School Attorneys (COSA), National School Boards Association; April 7, 2018.
  • Opening expert presenter, Oklahoma School Security Commission; March 8, 2018.
  • Invited presenter, School Security panel, Education Writers Association national conference; May, 2, 2016;
  • Invited presenter, School Threat Trends and School Security, Risk Management Meeting, Ohio Schools Council; March 15, 2016.
  • Invited presenter, Safe Schools: Legal and Practical Issues for K-12 Schools and Colleges, Education Law Association national conference; November 6, 2015;
  • Invited presenter, Healthy Cleveland, Sub-Committee on Violence, City of Cleveland; July 17, 2015.
  • Invited expert presenter, New Jersey School Security Task Force; January 13, 2015.
  • Plenary panel member, Education Commission of the States National Forum; July 1, 2014.
  • Presented state-level school safety public policy and funding recommendations to the nation’s lieutenant governors at the Federal-State Relations Meeting of the National Lieutenant Governors Association, March 21, 2014.
  • Presented school safety public policy and funding recommendations to state senators, state representatives, executive branch officials, and others in a special session for The Council of State Governments, September 20, 2013.
  • Invited to provide testimony to Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, July 12, 2013.
  • Invited by Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb to provide the opening presentation to the Oklahoma Commission on School Security, January 22, 2013.
  • Provided a review of a state strategy plan at the request of the Maryland State Superintendent and, provided recommendations to the Ohio Senate Caucus staff on state school safety policy issues and responses, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings (January, 2013)
  • Invited expert panelist for Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay’s tele-townhall meeting on bullying, December 15, 2011.
  • Invited by the U.S. State Department in April of 2008 to provide a briefing to teachers, school officials and community partners in Israel on school safety, school violence prevention, school security and school emergency preparedness as coordinated by the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
  • Expert testimony provided to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Task Force on School and Campus Safety (2007).
  • Invited attendee, White House Conference on School Safety, led by the President, First Lady, Attorney General, and Secretary of Education; October 2006.
  • Chaired the Prevention Committee and served as Executive Board member for the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative project for the Office of the United States Attorney of Northern Ohio in Cleveland, Ohio, one of six cities chosen by the U.S. Attorney General to receive $2.5 million to address gangs in 2006.

Ken has interviewed as a school safety and crisis expert for ABC World News Tonight, ABC Nightline, ABC 20/20, ABC Prime Time, CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News, CNBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News Channel, Geraldo at Large, Good Morning America, The Today Show, MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, The O’Reilly Factor (Fox News Channel), Associated Press, Newsweek, Time Magazine, USA Today, NY Times, Education Week, and many other national and international media.

Practical School Safety Experience

In addition to his extensive consulting experience, Ken served over seven years with the Division of Safety and Security for the Cleveland Public Schools, the last three as founding supervisor of its school Youth Gang Unit. Under Ken’s direction, the school gang unit reduced school gang crimes and disruptions by over 39% in three years. Ken then served as assistant director of a federal-funded gang project in three southwest Cleveland suburbs, where he was also director of security for the ninth largest Ohio public school system. In 1997, he expanded his consulting service business from an exceptionally active part-time business into a full-time operation, both having included work with school, law enforcement and other public safety officials, parents and students from all 50 states and internationally.

While employed full-time in Cleveland-area school security capacities, Ken also worked part-time from 1985 to 1993 in the Emergency Control Center of the U.S. Federal Protective Service at Cleveland’s federal office building. His responsibilities included Control Center operations of the District Emergency Control Center for the State of Ohio with duties including assignment of federal police and contract security officers, implementing emergency plans for federal property sites, and serving as liaison with local and federal emergency service agencies. In this capacity he received ongoing training related to physical security, terrorism, and related issues.

Strong Education and Training Credentials

  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Education with a research focus on the intersection of school administrator strategic crisis leadership with school safety communications in highly ambiguous and uncertain contexts.
  • Master of Public Administration degree from Cleveland State University
  • B.A. in Social Service (criminal justice concentration) from Cleveland State University
  • Advanced Physical Security Training Program (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center)
  • Certified in Red Team Thinking, a critical and contrarian set of decision making tools
  • School Safety Leadership Certification (National School Safety Center)
  • State-certified private police training
  • More than 2,500 hours of specialized training on topics on school safety and security, crisis preparedness planning, gang and drug issues, terrorism and emergency management, and related school and youth safety topics

Experienced School Safety Keynote, Seminar, and Professional Development Presenter

Dr. Ken is a seasoned presenter, trainer, and educator capable of effectively communicating online and in-person to diverse, multidisciplinary audiences.  He has decades of experience speaking before audiences ranging from school support staff, teachers, principals, and superintendents to school board members, state and federal elected policymakers, professional association conference attendees, first responders, attorneys, academicians, and the media.

In addition to public school districts, parochial schools, independent schools, regional education offices, and other schools nationwide, examples of organizations that have engaged Ken’s presentations include:

Education, Public Safety, Prevention, and Other Professional Associations: National School Boards Association (NSBA), American Association of School Administrators (AASA), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO International), National Christian School Association, National PTA,  National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), National Governors Association, National Lieutenant Governors Association, National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), National Police Athletic/Activities Leagues (National PAL), Education Writers Association, Ohio School Boards Association, Ohio Schools Council, Ohio Association of Pupil Service Administrators, Ohio Education Association, Ohio PTA, Texas School Safety Center, Wisconsin School Safety Coordinators Association, Kentucky Prevention Network, Student Assistance Professionals Association of Georgia, Montana Behavioral Institute, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Michigan Schools Educators Police Liaison Association (SEPLA), Buckeye Association of School Administrators, Association of Nova Scotia Educational Administrators (ANSEA), Education Law Association, Ohio Catholic Education Association, and others.


Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, and Other First Responders: FBI National Academy, California Gang Investigators Association, Midwest Gang Investigators Association, MAGLOCLEN Law Enforcement Network, New Jersey State Police Street Gang Unit, Minnesota Juvenile Officers Institute, Missouri Police Chiefs Association, Indiana Governor’s Summit on Homeland Security, Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, Western Regional Institute for Community Policing, Michigan State Police – Emergency Management Division/Homeland Security, Wisconsin Department of Justice, Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, Central Illinois Police Training Center, and more.

Governmental Entities and Public Policymakers: United States Senate (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee), United States House of Representatives (House Education and Labor Committee), United States House of Representatives (House Homeland Security Committee), U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, U.S. State Department, U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity, Executive Office of the United States Attorneys, U.S. Attorney’s Offices in 10 states, U.S. Department of Justice,Hawaii Department of Education, Indiana Department of Education, Illinois Department of Education/Regional Offices of Education, South Carolina Department of Education, Arkansas Department of Education, Arizona Department of Education, Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, New Jersey School Security Task Force, Oklahoma Commission on School Security, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Council of State Governments, Education Commission of the States, City of Cleveland – Healthy Cleveland Sub-Committee on Violence, and others.

Academic: The Johns Hopkins University School of Education, The Ohio State University’s Criminal Justice Research Center, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin, Purdue University, Cleveland State University, Ohio University,Virginia Commonwealth University, and others.

School Safety Expert Media Commentator and Interviewee

On Television
Ken’s appearances have included Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Fox and Friends, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, CNN Headline News, PBC News Hour, ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, ABC 20/20, Nightline, Court TV, The O’Reilly Factor, and more.

On Radio
Ken has been heard on ABC Radio News, ABC Sam Donaldson Show, CBS Radio, CNN Radio, National Public Radio News, All Things Considered (NPR), Voice of America, American Family Radio, BBC News (London), German Public Radio, Red FM (Ireland), and more.

Online and in Print
Ken’s insights have been included in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Education Week, Christian Science Monitor, Time Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Associated Press, Gannett News Service, Newhouse News Service, Scripps Howard News Service, The Times (London), Agence France Presse, the top 50 daily U.S. newspapers, and more.

Professional Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
  • Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP)
  • International Association of Professional Security Consultants (IAPSC)
  • Education Law Association
  • National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA)

Prior/historical affiliations have included:

  • Co-founder, Ohio Chapter, Midwest Gang Investigators Association (MGIA)
  • Former 6-year member of board of directors of the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officers
  • Past chair, K-12 Subcommittee, Educational Institutions Security Standing Committee, American Society for Industrial Security
  • Former member and advisor to the National Association of School Resource Officers’ executive director and board, including conducting the nation’s first four, largest surveys of SROs

To request additional biographical information and reference letters, feel free to e-mail Dr. Ken directly at ken@schoolsecurity.org