State officials may arm Oregon University police for first time in school’s history

Josiah Ryan
Contributing Reporter
137
Total Shares

State officials may soon give police officers at Oregon University (OU) permission to carry firearms for the first time in the school’s 137-year history.

Police officers at Oregon University may soon have the ability to carry firearms.

The unarmed officers, currently responsible for the safety of over 24,000 students on the 295-acre campus, rely on Eugene City Police Department officers to diffuse potentially dangerous situations.

The decision, which is set to come down from the State Board of Higher Education on June 21, however, would allow members of the Oregon University Police Department (OUPD) to carry Glock G4s that have already been purchased as part of a plan to arm to the department.

A state official, as well as a spokesperson for the OUPD, told Campus Reform on Monday that the move would give the officers who are most familiar with the campus the tools they need to provide security.

“We could be doing a lot more on campus than we are now,” said Kelly Mciver, communications director and public information officer for OU. “In a worst case scenario precious minutes would certainly be saved if we had our own officers who are most familiar with the campus respond.”

McIver said he, and other OU officers, monitored a situation that transpired at the University of Rhode Island earlier this year, in which unarmed campus police were the first to respond to a shooting scare, due to similar state policy barring the officers from carrying firearms.

Director of Communications for the Oregon University System Diane Saunders said Monday that the Oregon Board of Higher Education was set to arm police officers several years ago but decided to create a waiting period because of a disagreement over whether or not students were in favor of the change.

Since then, the OUPD has engaged in an extensive public relations campaign to help students understand the purpose of arming officers, McGiver said.

“In a campus environment not everyone is going to be in favor of something like this,” said McGiver. “Some people have philosophical opposition to the existence of firearms. We are not out to change their minds or opinions but to help people understand the goal of policing.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JosiahRyan



Josiah Ryan

Josiah Ryan

Contributing Reporter

Josiah Ryan is a contributing reporter for CampusReform.org and former director of communications for LI's Campus Leadership Program. 

Previously Josiah reported on the U.S. Senate for The Hill newspaper in Washington D.C. and was the cofounder of The Floor Action blog, a live-stream on policy, politics, and procedure in the upper chamber.

Josiah served as a reporter for the Jerusalem Post and JPOST TV in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he wrote on religion, culture, and the conflict.

Josiah is 2007 graduate of Hillsdale College. 

More By Josiah Ryan


LATEST TWEETS

Libusters
@bob4gov_now - 28 min ago

Prosecutor encourages Notre Dame students to report rapes, assaults to county, not school http://t.co/ErqI89BEFQ by @campusreform #Libusters

MichaelRaySmith
@Handwrittennews - 3 hours ago

VIDEO: Students think John Boehner should resign because of 'Deflategate' http://t.co/qG1RmJaKGb via @campusreform

Chuck Norton
@ChuckNorton1 - 4 hours ago

VIDEO: Students think John Boehner should resign because of 'Deflategate' http://t.co/cFo8yXQjKq via @campusreform

Mark
@mpmcreynolds - 5 hours ago

@mike4libertyCA @campusreform @K_Schallhorn ...at 17 & 18 people are not exactly wise and are more susceptible to trending idiocy.

Mark
@mpmcreynolds - 5 hours ago

@mike4libertyCA @campusreform @K_Schallhorn I honestly cringe at the thought of sending my kids to college.

Mike
@mike4libertyCA - 6 hours ago

@mpmcreynolds I know. Just awful. It was bad when I was in college but it's gotten far worse in the last decade @campusreform @K_Schallhorn

Joy Overbeck
@JoyOverbeck1 - 7 hours ago

@campusreform Friendemies: unholy alliance btwn church & big gov http://t.co/HhkZkLnKLQ Pls RT thnx!

Mark
@mpmcreynolds - 7 hours ago

@mike4libertyCA @campusreform @K_Schallhorn Nothing says "stupid" quite like college students.

Molly Murphy
@Mollymurphy398 - 8 hours ago

@campusreform Find me on http://t.co/kjCV0yiva7 ! A unique platform to Showcase your Content, Catch the Trend, Connect to Friends! #94

Latest 30 Articles