Police and Safety are going to be armed in 2015. Students who were surveyed about this last year supported the move. The faculty was less convinced. While many people do think arming campus police is a good decision, I do not think they need to be armed.
Police and Safety has done a wonderful job at keeping the campus safe without the use of firearms. The amount of crime on campus just does not seem to warrant the guns. To its credit, Police and Safety has promised to train its men and women on the appropriate and inappropriate times to use their weapons, which is good as it decreases the chance for accidental firings.
As good and necessary as it is, training the officers on how to use their firearms will take time and money. The money spent on the guns could be put towards other matters, like building renovations.
The relatively small campus size and student population of Mercyhurst does not warrant firearms. The negative repercussions from student actions do not warrant Police and Safety being armed.
Though I am only a sophomore here, the type of crime that I noticed since arriving is occasional vandalism of people’s vehicles. I am not saying that that is not a crime, but if that is what occurs on campus, then the police seem to be able to handle it with what they have right now.
To my knowledge, most students at Mercyhurst who choose to engage in “questionable” activities on weekend nights know when to stop without the police having to get in on it. I am not saying that bad things do not happen on this campus, just that they do not happen enough to make the guns necessary.
Mercyhurst has been an extremely safe campus for years, thanks to Police and Safety. The men and women who protect us every day have done their jobs very well without the use of guns, so I must once again ask why a change needs to be made.
The amount of on-campus crimes does not warrant weapons, and the money required to obtain and maintain the weapons could be put to other uses. I will hold out and see how it goes next year, but for now, I am against arming Police and Safety.