URI arming campus police - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

URI arming campus police

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 By Dana Griffin



KINGSTON, RI- Come next spring semester, University of Rhode Island police will be adding a holster to their belt. The school announced today it's arming officers in anticipation of an active shooter.

"To be able to confront the shooter and if necessary disable or shoot them. It's regrettable that we would ever come to that and we hope never to face that. But, I think we have to be prepared for it," said URI president, David Dooley.

URI senior, Ethan Raboin said, "People can lose their cool whenever so adding guns into the mix, that just, that doesn't make me feel secure, just put it that way."

The move comes one year after a gun scare in the Chafee Social Science Center.

Students claim someone yelled they had a gun. Turned out, it was a false alarm.

Officers were dispatched within 40-seconds after the first call, but waited five more minutes outside the building for armed officers.

"Students could be injured or even killed in that kind of scenario," said Dooley.

"I think that's a little extreme for what went on last year because nothing actually happened, but if there were something to occur, I would want us to feel safe," said sophomore, Shannon Kelley.

The school isn't just handing over weapons. The officers must complete use–of–force training, go through psychological testing, background checks, and know how to recognize mental illness.

Training starts this summer, with officers carrying the guns by spring 2015.

It will cost $150,000 for the first year, and an estimated $23,000 every subsequent year.

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