Memo outlines equipment cost
The new law that allows concealed weapons to be carried on campus has caused administrators at many Kansas community colleges to rethink security polices. Barton Community College administrators are recommending that the college provide its officers with guns and other equipment, as well as training, at an estimated total cost of $22,458.
Officers of the Campus Safety Department will be considered as non-certified officers, with jurisdiction over Barton Community College property.
A memo from Vice President of Administration Mark Dean outlines recommendations for the Campus Safety Department. The following are excepts:
As of July 1, the Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act allows students, faculty, staff and visitors to conceal carry on the campus. This includes inside all educational buildings, athletic facilities and dorms.
Before the law passed, Kansas City Community College was the only one of the state’s 19 community colleges with an armed police force. Since then, four more community colleges — Johnson County, Butler, Garden City and Cloud County — have opted to allow their officers to carry weapons. Some have full police sources, others have non-certified officers that carry weapons and one uses a combination of in-house officers and contracted officers.
Barton’s insurance carrier offers a supplemental Law Enforcement Policy that covers weapons issued to college employees as part of their employment for $5,000 a year.
Options for officer protection
Until now, the policy memo notes, Barton’s Campus Safety Officers have been asked to respond to situations with “no method of providing any degree of self-protection.” As of July 1, they do have the legal right to carry concealed weapons. The administration’s recommendation calls for a variety of equipment, such as batons and stun guns, giving officers a number of options.
“For almost all options, policies and training will have to be developed, strictly adhered to, and will take considerable time and effort to develop and implement.” Training is available through the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and the college’s own Criminal Justice Department for minimal costs.
“Officers would first receive training on the body armor and handcuffs, and would then progress to defensive sprays, batons, Tasers, and lastly firearms. No officer would carry or use any equipment until trained on its use, and until they were instructed on the college policies and procedures which allowed the use of the equipment.”
In addition to the equipment recommendation, the college is continuing to upgrade its camera systems. Installation and maintenance of the cameras was once done in-house, but the memo recommends it be out-sourced to Nex-Tech.
“This is much like our leased phone system on campus and our camera system at Camp Aldrich.”
A Campus Safety Committee that includes staff and students will be asked to determine any areas of concerns on campus, such as exterior light, access or hazards.