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Focus on safety includes proposal to arm officers

January  09, 2014

Emergency personnel at Augustana during last May's mass casualty drill.

Related headlines:

Augustana discusses armed presence on campus (Augustana Observer)

Augustana considering creating a small, armed police force (Dispatch/Argus)

Augustana College considers created police force (Associated Press/various news outlets)

Augustana considers arming some campus security officers (Quad City Times)

Augustana College considers armed campus police force (WHBF TV 4 News)

Local College Considers Arming Its Public Safety Officers (KWQC News 6)

Armed Officers On Augustana Campus? (Fox 18 KLJB)

Augustana considering armed campus police force (WQAD TV 8)

Armed Officers on Campus (WVIK)

Augustana has focused strongly on public safety recently, encouraging the campus community to sign up for emergency alerts and holding a mass casualty drill last May. Now, after holding discussions with students and staff on the subject, Augustana administrators are considering whether to ask the board of trustees to arm three of the college's security officers.

Members of the president's cabinet could present the proposal to the board in January.

Open forums were hosted in December by Dean of Students Evelyn Campbell to learn about the options, discuss questions and provide input. If it armed its officers, Augustana would establish its own police department. Armed officers would need to have completed the equivalent of a police academy and have carried a gun in a previous job.

Campbell said the idea of having an armed police department on campus has been discussed for some time, and recent mass shootings brought the discussion forward.

Other recent public safety measures have included more frequent "tabletop drills" with key staff and installing special landline phones in areas on campus where mobile phone service does not reach.

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833