Arming security now an insurance issue

Jake Belknap, Staff Reporter

A proposal that would allow Lakeland’s professional security staff to carry guns is on its way to being finalized, according to Vice President for Student Development, Nate Dehne.

Dehne said the proposal has been issued to Lakeland’s General Counsel Tony Fessler so he can clear up any insurance issues the proposal might contain.

“Would the insurance want our officers to wear bullet proof vests at all times? Or do we just need to make them available? Those are the kinds of issues the insurance will need to know.

“If things checkout from an insurance and risk management standpoint, I’ll bring it back to the executive council for one final look through when people have a chance to weigh in again.”

Some students interviewed by The Mirror shared their concerns as the proposal is on its way to being passed.

“If the head directors of security were to have guns, I think they should have them locked in a gun case in the security office,” sophomore Brenton Stuedel said. “I don’t think it would be necessary to have to carry them around. Our only real issue on campus is underage drinking. Is that a real threat to the point where they need a gun?”

Senior Joey Salazar called the situation a “double-edged sword,” saying he supports the proposal but is concerned that the firearms may perhaps end up in the hands of someone not authorized to have them, like student security officers.

Dehne said that as of now, there is no official end date to the proposal process. He said most members of executive council are comfortable with the proposal. He also said training for any security staff members who would carry guns would be “at or even above what the state would require.”

“We’re taking the responsibility of this process very seriously. It’s not just an afterthought. I’m really concerned, as are those that are making the decisions, with the safety and the security of the entire campus,” he said.