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PROVIDENCE – A state senator plans to introduce legislation that would allow campus police officers at the state’s colleges and universities to carry firearms.
Sen. Glenford J. Shibley, R-Coventry, this month said in a statement that permitting the weapons would create safer campuses.
“In order to protect students, staff and visitors on our college campuses, it has become critical that our officers are able to carry firearms,” Shibley said. “Dangers in today’s world do not stop at the campus entrance.”
Campus police officers at the Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island have been trained and certified by the R.I. Municipal Police Training Academy. As part of that training, they receive the same firearms training and psychological testing as officers who work in state, city or town police agencies.
Shibley worked as an instructor at the academy for three decades.
According to the statement, Rhode Island is the only state where officers at state-supported institutions carry out their duties unarmed. “By not allowing these officers to carry firearms, they are unable to adequately serve in their position as first responders,” Shibley said.
Sen. Nicholas D. Kettle, R-Coventry, a student at Rhode Island College, said in a statement there is an urgent need for this legislation to be approved and signed into law. •