News Team 30: Armed Guards are now on QU campus

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Elijah Westbrook

By: Taylor Popielarz

Quinnipiac University is the latest school to add armed officers to its campus security, following a trend seen across the nation as school shootings continue to rock the country.

“I think what really hit home for a number of people here in Connecticut was Newtown almost two years ago,” Chief of Quinnipiac Public Safety David Barger said. “A lot of people had connections with Newtown, and they realized that if it could happen in Newtown, it could happen anywhere.”

Students will now find at least two armed officers on each of Quinnipiac’s three campuses around the clock.

Barger said each armed officer is a retired police officer with at least 15 years experience. The officer must have left their position in law enforcement in good standing, and had to complete a number of background and psychological tests to ensure they were capable of operating a firearm in a school environment.

According to Barger, Quinnipiac adapted a Connecticut state statute, entitled 13-188, or the “Newtown Statute,” which places retired police officers in public schools throughout the state.

Quinnipiac students have varying opinions about the newly armed officers.

“Now that we got people who are able to protect us, it makes me feel a lot safer on campus,” said sophomore Connor Flood. “It doesn’t fit,” said freshman Zane Peterson. “In a place like Hamden, Conn. they don’t really need guns.”

Armed officer Timothy Fanning said students should not feel threatened by any armed officer, because each officer is trained how, and when, to react.

According to the advocacy group “Everytown for Gun Safety,” there have been at least 74 school shootings since December 2012 (when the Newtown massacre took place).

“How can we best serve our students?” Barger said. “How can we protect our students? And I believe that we’re really taking a step in that direction.”