Meaningful Conversations: Campus Security: Arming Campus Police

ARCHIVE: Guide No Longer Being Updated.


In the wake of mass shootings at schools and colleges around the country and the recent tragedy right here in Oregon at Umqua Community College, many people are asking difficult questions about how to make our campuses safer and more secure.  Among the solutions often discussed is the use of armed campus police.  

The purpose of this guide is to provide a starting point to exploring the issue of armed campus security.  If you have suggestions for additional resources or questions about this guide, don't hesitate to contact Rachel Bridgewater, Faculty Librarian at Cascade.

photo credit: Flickr user Garrett Wilber:  To Serve and Protect

Armed Campus Police: Local/State

Read, Richard. "Armed Officers, Weapon-free Zones Not Allowed at Oregon's Community Colleges." Oregonian. 13 Oct. 2015. Web. 09 Dec. 2015.

Oregon colleges and universities with armed security, see below to read the policies:

Portland State University: Policy and Controversy

"Campus Safety FAQ.Portland State Inside PSU. Portland State University, n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2015.

"Improving Campus Safety at Portland State University Presidential Task Force on Campus Safety Final Report".  Portland State University, 1 Nov. 2013. Web. 13 Jan. 2016. 

"#DisarmPSU." PSUSU. Portland State University Student Union, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.  (Student group protesting the arming of campus police.)

Federal Statistics

Bureau of Justice Statistics. Campus Law Enforcement, 2011–12. Rep. no. NJC 248028.  U.S.Department of Justice, Jan. 2015. Web.

These findings come from the 2011–12 Survey of Campus Law Enforcement Agencies, which surveys U.S. 4-year colleges and universities with 2,500 or more students.  About 75% of campuses employed armed security officers.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States Between 2000 and 2013. Rep. U.S. Department of Justice, 16 Sept. 2013. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.

News and Reports

Ahmed, Shad U. "The Lethal Question: To Arm or Not to Arm?Campus Safety Magazine. Campus Safety Magazine, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.

Alter, Oren. "Common Misconceptions About Armed Officers at Schools."Campus Safety Magazine. Campus Safety Magazine, 13 Mar. 2014. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.

Carlson, Scott. "Campus Cops' Contested Role.Chronicle Of Higher Education 62.8 (2015): 1. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.