Campus cops to get guns

The campus police for Yavapai College received the official OK to carry deadly weapons.

Tuesday, the college district governing board approved a proposal to change safety policies to allow peace officers to be armed. By Arizona law, community colleges can decide their own policy regarding weapons on campus.

Dr. Doreen Daily said the amended policy has received extensive review from campus committees and legal resources.

“I think we do have community support,” said Dr. Ed Harris, chairman of the board. Other board members affirmed that they had not received negative comments.

Yavapai College has nine officers on staff who are certified peace officers.

The decision creates a new policy and amends the previous code. The Campus Safety Department can act as an official law enforcement agency to uphold college rules and state laws on campus. Daily said this has been in practice, but the creation of the written policy formalizes the practice. The college calls it “empowerment.”

In the amended section, police are exempted from the weapon prohibition that applies to all others on campus. The code states that police will openly display their firearms as well as duty badge or uniform.

The policy change is not connected to any criminal incident but came together after years of discussion. A report put together by college staff made reference to increasing violence in the workplace and on school campuses.

While it is understood procedure, board member Tony Decker requested that the code formally require the minutes from the review board meetings be forwarded to the governing board.

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