Evergreen State Still Refuses to Arm Campus Police with Rifles

Yana Paskova/Getty Images
Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Despite the chaos that consumed Evergreen State College earlier this year, administrators are refusing to properly arm campus law enforcement.

“We have handguns; we do not have rifles…We are the only state university that does not have rifles for active shooter situations,” then-Chief Officer of Evergreen State College Stacy Brown said during a hearing on June 20.

Brown resigned at the beginning of August, citing concerns over the administration’s refusal to allow campus officers to carry rifles for active shooter situations. Brown maintains that the administration’s refusal to properly arm campus officers was not a matter of funding, but due to a “philosophical discrepancy.”

“I am really just trying to move on with my life in a positive manner, after having gone through such a rough period for the last 10 months,” Brown told The College Fix, expressing her frustrations with the Evergreen administration.

In a 2013 interview, current interim police chief Ed Sorger argued that the Evergreen department could greatly benefit from assault rifles. “Your chances of stopping that kind of event are much greater [with assault rifles]. We want to give the best service we can to the community,” Sorger said at the time.

Other universities in the state of Washington equip their campus police forces with rifles for the very purpose of handling active shooter situations. Washington State University Police officer Michael Larson told The College Fix that their police force obtained rifles after the Virginia Tech Shooting.

After these events, knowing that patrol officers will need a better tool to have to stop an active shooter, officers were able obtain police department and University administrator’s approval to purchase rifles. A patrol rifle is simply another tool for law enforcement to use and this firearm is safer to use within any community as it presents less danger to bystanders from over-penetrating or ricocheting projectiles than do the standard issue handgun.

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