Mercyhurst College is traditionally considered a ‘safe’ campus – well-advertised are its Police & Safety personnel as well as its multitude of security cameras and so-called "Blue-Lights," supposed to aid in the deterrence of crime on campus.
Also in its favor is the relatively suburban nature of its campus, certainly when compared to the urban campus of Gannon University. Despite all of these factors, a Pennsylvania State Police report lists Mercyhurst as the most crime-ridden campus out of all the local colleges and universities in Erie.
Part-I crimes include murder, rape and assault, along with property crimes like burglary and larceny. Mercyhurst College was listed as having 115 Part-I crimes on its campus in 2008 alone. This does NOT include the multiple assaults that occurred near the end of this past school year, at least four of which occurred, specifically targeting female members of the student body.
That means that Mercyhurst has more than three times the amount of Part-I crimes than Allegheny, Gannon and Edinboro each. This translates into more Part-I crimes than all other three schools combined!
Question: What is the single biggest difference between the three schools with drastically lower amounts of these crimes and Mercyhurst College? All four colleges have Police forces on-campus; all four utilize security cameras and blue lights.
The major difference between these colleges and their respective police forces is the ability of every single police force other than Mercyhurst’s Police & Safety to carry firearms. One administrator at Mercyhurst College has stated that he does not feel it necessary for Police & Safety to be armed "at the current time."
Statistical data may be coincidental, but there is no vacuum in which to empirically show one way or the other. But with three other colleges and universities in relative proximity, with similar ethnic, religious and political makeups showing the same correlation between armed police officers and lower amounts of crime, why does the administration of Mercyhurst College refuse to entertain the possibility that the sworn police officers, trained in the use of firearms, be allowed to carry them on campus while on duty to better protect the students and staff of the college?
God help the administration of Mercyhurst College the day a Police & Safety officer walks into a gun bust on campus, or stumbles onto an assault where an assailant has a knife or other weapon and the officer or an innocent student is injured or worse.