Portland State campus security to carry guns

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: University decides to arm security officers despite protests.

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PORTLAND TRIBUNE: University decides to arm security officers despite protests.

Beginning July 1, the first four armed police officers joined the now bifurcated public safety department, with another eight police to be phased in over three years. This has sparked several protests from student groups — including an interruption, walkout and rally during President Wim Wiewel’s convocation speech Sept. 21. Phil Zerzan, head of PSU campus security, says the university needs police powers to do things like continue a criminal investigation off-campus or respond more effectively to an incident of rape.

“People always try and reduce this down to a discussion about guns, and it’s much more complex than that,” Zerzan says. “We’re not talking about guns, we’re talking about having the police authority.”

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