Caught in the Crossfire: A Look into Why Colleges Should Arm their Police

Caught in the Crossfire: A Look into Why Colleges Should Arm their Police

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Arming Campus Police
Over the past few years, campus police around the country have been given the responsibility of holstering a firearm. This has mainly been because of the increase in shootings at universities and schools, such as Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook Elementary School. The possible danger of campuses being attacked by hostile individuals is a major priority to school boards and universities who do not want their students harmed, injured, or feeling unsafe. Because of this, measures have been taken to create a safer campus environment. At the University of Rhode Island, forums and debates have been held to determine if URI is suited to have armed police on campus. Some of the methods include keeping the university aware of potential threats, informing them of the university’s safety decisions, and having safety services constantly available.
On the morning of April 3rd of 2013, the URI police as well as other local police departments received a report of an individual with a firearm on campus in the major lecture hall of the Chafee Social Science Center building. Soon after the report, all emergency services were contacted and sent to the URI Kingston Campus in the area of the sighting. The incident started a large scale police response, a campus lock-down, and an immediate report from the URI Emergency Alert System that notified all students, staff, faculty, family members, media, and public officials (Weygand). After clearing the building and finding no gunman inside of Chafee, the university continued to stay in lockdown for another three hours until the entire campus was cleared. Later on, students explained what the alleged gunman did upon entering the classroom. They described a male student that they did not rec...

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) 2004–2005 Survey of Campus Law Enforcement Agencies
Edgar, Randal. “Question of Arming URI Police Divides Group at Forum/Poll.” The Providence Journal. The Providence Journal Company. Web. 07 October 2013. 22 March 2017.
Mesquita, Paul Bueno de. Forum on Arming Campus Police. 24 March 2013. .
Robert A. Weygand, J. Vernon Wyman, Stephen Baker, Shad Ahmed, Linda Acciardo, Kerrie. Preliminary Report: A Reported Individual with a Gun. 24 March 2013. .
Simmons, Ruth J. Brown Approves Arming Campus Police Officers, Effective Immediately. 27 March 2014. .
St. Jean, Kyle. Personal Interview. 28 03 2014.

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