Will arming campus police result in a safer campus for students and staff? The administration at the University of Rhode Island (URI) believes it will. An article in the Brown Daily Herald reported the school had decided to do so in wake of an incident that took place last spring in which a gunman was reportedly on campus. Though the incident proved false, the unarmed campus police were unable to handle the threat and had to wait for local police to arrive.
University officials said that before carrying firearms, the officers will undergo additional background checks, training on the use of firearms and psychological evaluations. While the administration believes arming the officers will result in timelier handling of threats and will help create a safer environment, there are also critics. The detractors claim there is “negligible presence of gun-related violence” and are concerned about using taxpayer money to arm the officers.
So once again asking the same question as we did earlier: will arming campus cops make the university safer? That remains to be seen.