Security aims to keep campus safe

Josh Graminske, Staff Reporter

A proposal that would allow Lakeland’s professional security staff to carry guns while they are on duty is still being discussed by the administration.

Nate Dehne, vice president of student development, and a risk management team met on Nov. 30 to discuss the proposal, which would allow Lakeland’s professional security staff members to carry guns while on duty. Annette Gamache and David Simon, Jr., the director and assistant director of security, respectively, are the only two current full time security staff members.

Both Gamache and Simon have state certifications which allow them to carry a weapon, have carried weapons in previous law enforcement jobs, and are proficient in weapons-training and tactics. In Gamache’s previous job as a sergeant at Marquette University’s department of public safety, she carried a gun daily, and has been certified to carry a gun through the state of Wisconsin. Simon has a law-enforcement background as a school liaison officer and was the director of security at a charter school in Detroit.

The proposal has general support from the group, made up of Director of Security Annette Gamache, General Counsel Tony Fessler, and several other college leaders.

Several things about the proposal – such as the required amount of weapons-training and weapons-storage – will be discussed at the group’s next meeting on Dec. 12. After that meeting the proposal will be taken to the Executive Counsel of the college, which includes Dr. Gould and the Vice-Presidents, for further discussion before it is voted on by the Executive Counsel.

Another topic for discussion was a possibility that insurance providers might require the security staff to wear a bullet-resistant vest while on duty.

According to Dehne, “The topic is both politically and emotionally charged.”

Dehne also said that reactions to the proposal by students and faculty alike have been mixed, but generally in favor of security carrying weapons.

On Nov. 1, Wisconsin’s concealed carry law went into effect. The law allowed anyone over the age of 21 who was legally allowed to own a firearm to carry a weapon in self-defense after obtaining a permit.

In response to the Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) law going into effect, Lakeland College posted signs prohibiting weapons from being brought into all buildings on-campus.

In an interview for a previous Mirror article, Dehne said that the executive committee and Gamache think the new CCW law could result in more guns being on campus. While they don’t think this will result in more dangerous situations on campus, like a situation with an active shooter, they want to be prepared for the possibility.

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