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11/7/2019 Rep. O’Brien looks forward to report from public colleges on arming campus police
STATE HOUSE – Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) is looking forward to reviewing reports from the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the Community College of Rhode Island on the broader issues of campus policing regarding arming campus police. 

The reports are due back to the House of Representatives by January 7, 2020 and are a result of a House resolution (2019-H 5138A), sponsored by Representative O’Brien, that passed the House this past legislative session.

“Although it is utterly disturbing to acknowledge, active shooter situations are not going away in our society, and most often, targets of these vile crimes are schools.  It is because of this that I believe police officers at both RIC and CCRI should be allowed to carry firearms in order to protect students, faculty, staff and the public,” said Representative O’Brien.  “I have been encouraged by my discussions with some of the stakeholders and I am eager to see the product of their work to determine if arming our campus police is the appropriate action to take to protect all those who walk on our higher institution’s public campuses.  Total safety of the campuses is my only concern,” concluded Representative O’Brien.

The issues the reports are to include are:
  • Implementation of less than lethal force options;
  • Community engagement of issue;
  • Review and implement best practices to support desired goals and outcomes;
  • Estimate cost to implement electronic employee performance, early intervention and appraisal software systems;
  • Approximate a timeline and costs necessary to implement mandatory and recommended training;
  • Approximate a timeline and costs to review current personnel and job descriptions to align with the desired goals and outcomes of the commission;
  • Approximate a timeline and costs necessary to update record system and property management system; and
  • Approximate a timeline to update and implement the required policies and procedures.
Representative O’Brien has been a long proponent of arming campus police officers at Rhode Island’s public colleges and university.  Currently, the University of Rhode Island is the only public institute of higher education that has armed its campus police officers.  URI instituted this policy in 2015.  Representative O’Brien has also noted that Brown University in Providence, a private institution, also has campus police officers that carry firearms.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903