Westminster, MD – In an effort to improve the safety on Carroll Community College campus, special police officers will be permitted to carry firearms.
As part of a program, which will be implemented in the next few months, six full-time retired law enforcement officers with more than 20 years of experience carrying and shooting guns will be allowed to patrol the campus grounds. This will be the first time campus officers will be routinely armed with guns versus simply carrying pepperspray or batons.
These officers, per the agreement between the college’s Office of Public Safety and Security and the local sheriff’s department, will have jurisdiction over minor crimes: alcohol violations, disorderly conduct, and property violations. Personnel for the sheriff’s department would have primary control over violent crimes and drug violations.
Executive Vice President of Administration Alan Schuman was quoted in the Washington Post as saying in response to the program, “It is our belief that having armed Special Police Officers will better protect the college community and our officers during critical situations on campus.”
The Carroll County Times reports that from 2009 to 2011 the college had 43 reported incidents of larceny, the highest number on-campus. The only other incidents reported in that time frame were three burglaries, two drug violations, and one alcohol violation.
This program follows in part to a recent 4-0 vote by the Carroll County Board of Commissioners in favor of a local resolution supporting Second Amendment rights, held on the college campus. The resolution, titled the “Second Amendment Preservation Resolution,” is meant to send a message to the state and federal governments that the board of commissioners will not stand idly by while the state passes laws – such as the Firearm Safety Act of 2013 – that infringe on Carroll County residents’ Second Amendment rights, according to Commissioner Richard Rothschild.
The resolution declares Carroll as a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County,” allowing the board of commissioners to express its glaring opposition to Governor Martin O’Malley’s Firearm Safety Act of 2013. The law, which takes effect October 1, bans the sale of 45 military-style assault weapons, though to define an assault weapon has taken on several forms in the last year, and requires fingerprinting for gun ownership, reduces the number of bullets magazines can legally hold from 20 to 10, and prohibits the mentally ill from owning guns.
Do you think putting armed officers on college campuses is a good idea for safety? In readdressing the issue for elementary or high schools, do you think teachers or patrol officers should be permitted to carry firearms on school grounds? How do you feel about measures like the Firearm Safety Act?
[Image via Shutterstock]