Make my day

The question of whether campus police should carry firearms has been raised recently by United Council President Jeff Pertl’s research into whether UW system schools need armed police (“Gauging gun needs,” Oct. 10 issue of The Spectator). This question needs to be decided by each university. At UW-Eau Claire the answer should be “yes.”

Eau Claire campus police have been carrying guns for years and should continue to do so and there has never been a gun-related mishap by campus police. The officers on this campus are trained policemen, just like those in the Eau Claire Police Department, so we shouldn’t expect them not to carry weapons.

The alleged alleged gun in Bridgman Hall last week solidifies the need for armed campus police. While this alleged situation ended with no harm done, others like it may not. If students have guns on campus, the officers need guns.

We must take into consideration the other people in this city besides students. If anyone – Eau Claire citizen or visitor – comes onto campus and commits a violent crime, for example, the campus police are the first to respond. No one should expect them to go into the situation without any defense against a possibly armed perpetrator.

With an enrollment of about 10,000, the university is comparable to a small city. Any city this size would have a fully functioning police department complete with guns. So why shouldn’t the university? Just because the students attending this campus generally are peaceful and law-abiding, it doesn’t mean that nothing will ever happen.

No one knows when and where crimes will occur, but one can assume they probably will at some time. When they happen here, University Police are responsible for addressing them. The job they do would be seriously hindered without the use, or mere presence, of firearms.

Without weapons, the campus police would be glorified Rent-A-Cops. This lack of law enforcement capability might actually draw criminal activity.

By keeping the campus police armed, the university is keeping everyone here safe.