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

Campus Reform 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





LATEST TWEETS

Pharming
@jdame69 - 2 hours ago

Professors threaten bad grades for saying ‘illegal alien,’ ‘male,’ ‘female’ http://t.co/RP1uQvd5iF via @campusreform

Donna Lasater
@DLasater_99362 - 4 hours ago

Horribly unbelievable-->Professors threaten bad grades for saying ‘illegal alien,’ ‘male,’ ‘female’ http://t.co/98UGwRhYO4 via @campusreform

Robert C. Lemke
@RobertCLemke - 5 hours ago

@campusreform Miraculous rebirth of education in New Orleans driven by charter schools. Democrats block them in D.C.

Billie Pritchett
@b_pritchett - 5 hours ago

Professors threaten bad grades for saying ‘illegal alien,’ ‘male,’ ‘female’ http://t.co/mMFFG0JEZf via @campusreform

tom allison
@tallison46 - 7 hours ago

Student told she can’t start conservative club http://t.co/MN1uCrtdIV via @campusreform

Larry Reynolds
@Ylisha13 - 7 hours ago

"Students come to recognize how white privilege functions in social structures and institutions.” http://t.co/gEUxYx2MjQ via @campusreform

Daniel
@DViper31 - 7 hours ago

Columbia Univ. students offended by 'Consent is bae' posters http://t.co/RgOp5hfP6Z via @campusreform

Lone Biker
@mp663001 - 8 hours ago

Universities urge students to use gender-neutral pronouns http://t.co/SbsiiTPosN via @campusreform

Paul DiBartolo
@pauldibartolo - 8 hours ago

.@campusreform So easily offended ‘We played the flute 4 u, & u did not dance; we sang a dirge, & u did not mourn' https://t.co/wFmAfutQWE