A common trend across America right now is having police officers assigned strictly to schools, from elementary schools all the way up to colleges. With all the school shootings across America, some feel it has almost become a necessity to ensure safety for students.
But has the time come for Castleton University to add its own armed school resource officer?
Some, like psychology professor Terry Bergen, think not.
“I think at the present time, Castleton isn’t in need of having one. If it were to get to the point in which we needed anything like that, then my suggestion would be making our own college police department similar to UVM’s,” Bergen said.
Bergen, who has taught at the university for four decades, also hit on key points that the college would have to consider when making a decision like this.
“First, could we afford adding this resource to the college? Second, how many calls require police interaction on campus? And third, how much better of a service would this be to the college than what we already get from Castleton PD?” Bergen said shrugging his shoulders.
“I’ll be the first to tell you that if someone came on this campus attempting to harm students, I would be going to their location. I don’t care if I had to try to fight them with this stapler,” Molinari said picking up the stapler from his desk.
Castleton Students, on the other hand, varied in their responses. Morgan Newland, a senior, doesn’t see a need right now for an officer.
“I feel like it would depend on the risk. If they are having a history of threats, then it would be beneficial, but right now I don’t think it is necessary,” Newland said.
Emily Keeler and John Stewart, both juniors at Castleton have a different take.
“Oh yes, I think that would be a great Idea,” Keeler said. “There’s only so much that Public Safety can do without having to get Castleton PD involved, so I don’t see how having an officer on campus wouldn’t be beneficial.”
“I can’t see why it would be a bad idea at all,” Stewart said shrugging his shoulders. “I’d rather have them and not need them, than need them and not have them.”
This reporter overheard a conversation between two students while walking across campus last Wednesday. One laughed and showed his friend his phone and narrated what he was looking at.
“A gun and parachute are similar in an odd way, if you need one of them and don’t have it, you’ll probably never need it again. That is actually true,” the student said with a laugh, seeming to fit the discussion and the viewpoint of some students.