I have been shocked by the recent school shootings that swept across our nation like a violent plague. As a result I find it shocking and foolish that many campuses across the nation choose not to arm their respective police departments.
One reason why many individuals feel campus police should not be armed is their perceived lack of training in firearms. While this is a substantial concern, many do not recognize that college police officers are certified police officers with extensive firearms training. Due to the nature of the job, police officers and firearms naturally coincide with one another.
Therefore, officers should be allowed to carry firearms as long as they are properly trained.
According to Columbus State Community College President Val Moeller, another universal argument for not allowing college police departments to use firearms has stemmed from the notion that “having armed public safety officers on campuses increases the chances for more violence.”
Moeller states this argument has been researched and proven by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).
However, upon more than a surface glance, it becomes apparent NACUBO is a business organization that has no field of expertise in law enforcement.
Moeller’s statement further ignores the fact that armed university police officers would serve as a visual deterrent to crime rather than promoting it.
A criminal that sees an adequately armed police force would be less likely to commit a crime.
Many colleges and universities also think there is no need to arm their police forces because of their relationships
with local and state police agencies.
They are under the impression that if a school shooting was to happen on their campus, the state or local police could handle the situation.
While I acknowledge local and state police officials are capable of handling the situation, it would take time to mobilize these necessary forces to the scene.
Within that time period, it is up to the campus police to handle the situation.
How can they do so without the capabilities to act? One simply does not bring a baton or pepper spray to a gunfight and expect to protect lives.
This mindset is extremely inconsiderate and dangerous to the lives of students, faculty and campus police officers.
The fact is you fight fire with fire- ask any firefighter who fights forest fires. The same holds true when a police officer is confronted by an armed assailant whose sole intent is to kill.
Police officers should have the means of protecting themselves, students, faculty and others that they are sworn to protect and serve.