RI Higher Education
8:34 am
Tue April 15, 2014

University Of Rhode Island First State Institution To Arm Campus Police

The University of Rhode Island announced today it will arm its on-campus police force with guns.  It's the only public higher education institution in the state to do so.

The University of Rhode Island's sprawling North Kingston campus.
The University of Rhode Island's sprawling North Kingston campus.
Credit RIPR FILE

Next year members of URI’s police for will be issued firearms.  The move comes after a year of discussions and debate over the issue, which was fueled by an earlier incident involving reports of an alleged shooter on campus.  The reports turned out to be false, but the episode made school officials question whether the campus police had all the tools they needed to keep the school safe. The decision criticism, from both students and faculty, who say arming police won’t make the campus any safer.

Currently all URI police officers are graduates of the state police academy.  Now, they will be required to undergo extra psychological testing and background checks before receiving a weapon. The force is expected to be armed by the spring 2015.

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