[OPINION] University police officers must be allowed to carry guns on campus
The University of Oregon Police Department (UOPD), like most university police departments, is “responsible for campus safety, crime prevention and law enforcement.”
Before Friday, however, there was one striking difference that set this police department apart from most others: Officers serving in UOPD were prohibited by state bureaucrats from carrying firearms.
The officers, responsible for the safety of over 24,000 students on a 295-acre campus, were faced with executing their mission using tools akin to what you would expect from a mall cop.
Thankfully, the state Board of Higher Education ruled on Friday to allow these officers to carry guns on campus. They will reportedly start doing so this fall.
A similar move was made by the Rhode Island Board of Education last month in a ruling that said universities should have the right to arm their officers, if they wish.
But it appears some institutions of higher learning in Rhode Island will still choose not to trust their officers with the responsibility of carrying a gun. For instance, administrators at the Community College of Rhode Island say they don’t want officers with guns on their campus and are refusing to arm them.
Police officers are charged with a dangerous task. With the aim of protecting us, these brave men and women run to danger while others run away.
To ask them to confront such danger without the tools necessary to protect themselves is wrong.
Students at universities across the country should check and make sure their police are armed and ready to respond to any dangerous scenario. If they are not, they should demand their college presidents abandon correctness and give their guardians the weapons they need to perform their duties and protect the rule of law.
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