CT community colleges have option to arm security guards - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT community colleges have option to arm security guards

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)
MANCHESTER, CT (WFSB) -

Security is about to be beefed up at some community colleges after lawmakers passed a bill this year letting 17 community colleges have armed officers.

On Thursday, the Board of Regents set up a formal process to apply.

Manchester Community College said it is ready, and they are submitting a plan to do it.

It isn’t uncommon to see officers on the campus of Manchester Community College. The college has seven, who work six days a week.

The only thing that will be different is that they will be carrying guns.

"I think it’s the sign of our times --- these are more dangerous times,” said college student Joe Carlson.

Shootings and violence on school campuses has convinced some students more security is needed.

Four years ago, a man with a gun was spotted on campus. The school was in lock down for seven hours, and there really wasn’t much campus police could do. They had to wait for Manchester police to secure roads and investigate.

Manchester Community College President Gena Glickman said if campus police were armed, the lockdown could have been much shorter.

"We operate like other police departments. This makes the campus police specialty designated,” Glickman said.

"As long as they know what they are doing, I am for it. It’s better than us running around not knowing what to do,” said student Rachel Labonti.

Manchester’s officers are already trained.

"If they are properly trained than I don't have a problem with it,” said college student Cathy Aforismo.

The plan is optional and for some colleges it will take more time because only certified officers are allowed to carry guns.

As for the cost, Manchester said it really won’t be much of an issue and they feel this is a good way to make their campus safer.

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