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Campus Police Chief Resigns Over Right to Carry:

The police chief at City College of San Francisco has resigned after failing to persuade the school to let his officers carry firearms. Story here.

p. rich (mail) (www):
It's San Francisco. I'm surprised regular police are allowed to carry.
6.13.2007 5:00pm
alkali (mail) (www):
Is that really "right to carry"?
6.13.2007 5:18pm
Ben Pollitzer (mail):
My Undergrad's campus police only carried flashlights and batons. (I'm not not even sure they were supposed to have the batons, not all of them carried them)


Granted, where I went for undergrad was a small liberal arts college in a rural area.
6.13.2007 5:56pm
Waldensian (mail):

Coordinated letter-writing campaigns have periodically urged administrators to change the policy, but students, faculty members and staffers overwhelmingly favor keeping the campus gun-free, the chancellor said.


The Virginia Tech campus was also "gun free."
6.13.2007 6:11pm
Shelby (mail):
Having lived and attended law school in San Francisco, the only surprising thing to me about the story is that he actually resigned over the issue.
6.13.2007 6:16pm
whit:
shows some resolve. "screw you guys i'm going home" (Eric Cartman).

there are few terms more politically correct (and factually false) than the concept of "gun-free campuses"
6.13.2007 6:26pm
EH:
How real is this issue once you subtract Virginia Tech hysteria?
6.13.2007 7:00pm
CollegeCop:
I work for the San Francisco Community College District Police Department and it is a real issue even minus the V. Tech hysteria. Just take a look at our police log:
http://www.ccsf.edu/Departments/Public_Safety/crimepl.html
We have more crime than most small towns and lately a lot of our criminals are students.

We are fully trained police officers and train regularly with SFPD. I have personally have taken fake guns, knives and even a machete off of suspects. Our Chief was anti-gun when he was hired. It did not take him long to realize that we needed fire arms to do our job. All he wanted was the college to make a decision about firearms... They would not even hear the issue.
6.13.2007 9:25pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):
How real is this issue once you subtract Virginia Tech hysteria?
I'm sorry that you take the soul searching about the implications of the deaths of over 30 students and faculty at Virginia Tech hysterical. "Nothing to see here, just move on."
6.13.2007 9:34pm
Peter Young:
there are few terms more politically correct (and factually false) than the concept of "gun-free campuses"

I don't see what's politically correct about the term "gun-free campus." It's intended as an expression of an ideal rather than a description of factual reality. Obviously, both the regular (noncampus) police and criminals can go on these campuses with guns. No one denies that.

Perhaps someone can explain why the need for a permanent police presence on a campus necessarily means the campus police must be armed. It seems to me whether campus police should be armed depends on what sort of policing you expect or need them to do. I understand that a permanent armed presence on campus means at least a slightly quicker response when needed, but it's a question of whether the need for that outweighs other values cutting in favor of an unarmed campus police force, including the wishes of the faculty, staff members and students.

I would imagine nearly all campuses need some sort of independent police force--for traffic, public safety and minor crimes and disputes--but does that always mean the police force has to be armed? If it's a big campus in a large city, it no doubt has a crime problem sufficient to warrant its own permanent armed police presence. But is the same necessarily true of all campuses? Might not some find it adequate to rely on an arrangement with the regular community police department for an armed response when required? Or have we reached the point where every single college campus needs its own armed police force?
6.13.2007 11:55pm
Waldensian (mail):

It's intended as an expression of an ideal rather than a description of factual reality.

I guess that's my problem with it. It's an ideal, a fantasy, that got people killed at Virginia Tech. "Factual reality" can really be a bitch.
6.14.2007 12:29am
CollegeCop:
I would imagine nearly all campuses need some sort of independent police force--for traffic, public safety and minor crimes and disputes--but does that always mean the police force has to be armed?


I think your logic is sound except for one thing. Police officers have a duty to act and are trained to act when incidents occur. The is not a special unarmed police training that teaches you to runaway from critical incidents and call the city police. If a institution of higher learning needs a police department, they should be armed. Otherwise they should hire security guards and parking enforcement people. The fact of the matter is police officers do police work and they run into bad guys with guns and other weapons. It is not easy to extract yourself from an critical incident when it falls in your lap. I could make the argument that a lot of small towns should not be armed because of their lack of crime and they can just call the county sheriff if they need an armed officer. It is just not realistic.
6.14.2007 12:32am
Informant (mail):
"I'm sorry that you take the soul searching about the implications of the deaths of over 30 students and faculty at Virginia Tech hysterical."

Policy should be based on likely events, not things that have the same odds of happening as winning the state lottery. It could be further added that the Virginia Tech police *were* armed: www.police.vt.edu/VTPDnew/depthist.htm (VT police were first armed in 1975); see also www.iht.com/articles/2007/04/20/america/20tech.php (noting that the VT police broke into the building by using a shotgun to blow off the locks). But keep waving that bloody shirt, I'm sure it's good aerobic exercise.
6.14.2007 12:37am
whit:
"I don't see what's politically correct about the term "gun-free campus." It's intended as an expression of an ideal rather than a description of factual reality"

a false unachievable ideal. iow, like most things politically correct - it's a lie. it's how we WISH things were vs. how they are.

unless you set up a high security fence around campus, with armed guards to metal detect everybody who enters and exits, it is not, and never will be "gun free."

as for the other stuff you bring up - it's mostly strawmen. nobody is saying every campus needs an armed police force. the issue is THIS campus.

fwiw, i used to work a very small town. a sgt. in the neighboring PD made a point of not carrying a firearm. you could make a MUCH better case for not carrying in that town, than you could in a college campus located in the city of san francisco. i am not aware of any homicides that ever occurred there and it was extremely low violent crime (even though many many people had concealed permits and firearms not that i am implying anything).

many campus cops (this one it seems meets this criteria) have as much (or more) training as your average city cop, and deal with a very diverse group of people and incidents. not to mention that there is no magic barrier between the city and the campus that keeps bad guys out.
6.14.2007 1:34am
K Parker (mail):
CollegeCop,
Otherwise they should hire security guards
Sorry, the job "unarmed security guard" seems so overwhelmingly exploitive to me, I could never recommend that course to anyone. Parking enforcement, sure; somone to sit at the front desk and watch to see that visitors sign in, sure. But a job where "guard" is actually warranted as part of the job title? Not on your (or, more to the point, their) life!
6.14.2007 2:46am
dearieme:
Bless him for resigning. I hope that he has saved what we in Britain call a "Get stuffed" fund.
6.14.2007 7:34am
Zuhaib (mail) (www):
CollegeCop, I can see from the link you posted they are some scary things you guys run in too. But a lot of it seems to be off campus on the "other" campus, while the main campus on Ocean seems to be pretty quiet. Like I said in my last post the main Campus is very close to a local PD Station, and is just across the street from a Fire House.
Again i can understand why you guys would want to carry guns, but when i see Local Police can handle the task just let them. If anything, just attach two local PD cars to be in the area at all times for the main campus. It will help out with other crime of the area other then on campus, while you guy can focus on things going on in campus.
6.14.2007 7:36am
CollegeCop:

Again i can understand why you guys would want to carry guns, but when i see Local Police can handle the task just let them.

The problem here is the local police can't handle the task they can barely attach one dedicated car to the Sunnydale (bad area in SF). There have been times that SFPD is so busy with shootings in the Sunnydale that the dispatchers have asked us to take calls in the Sunnyside neighborhood. If the college wants to pay for two dedicated city police cars, they really don't need to pay for college police.

But a lot of it seems to be off campus on the "other" campus, while the main campus on Ocean seems to be pretty quiet.

What do you think we do? We are college district police officers. We patrol the entire college district throughout San Francisco 24 hours a day not just the Ocean campus. Also most of the criminal reports we receive occur at the Ocean Campus.

The fact is, this might cost me a job, they should hire security guards to observe and report problems or arm the college police. Unarmed police should not be searching buildings in the middle of the night, making traffic stops, answering hold up alarms, escorting large amounts of money or several other things the college expects the police to do on a daily basis.
6.14.2007 9:41am
Peter Young:
as for the other stuff you bring up - it's mostly strawmen. nobody is saying every campus needs an armed police force. the issue is THIS campus.

Well, the nerve of you. Your general claim--"there are few terms more politically correct (and factually false) than the concept of "'gun-free campuses'"--invited discussion of campuses in general. I conceded on "this campus" in San Francisco when I wrote: "If it's a big campus in a large city, it no doubt has a crime problem sufficient to warrant its own permanent armed police presence." What you call "strawmen" were my attempt to understand the extent of the problem--whether all campuses need armed police forces or not--and a direct response to your invitation to discuss campuses in general.

a false unachievable ideal. iow, like most things politically correct - it's a lie. it's how we WISH things were vs. how they are.

There's nothing wrong with wishing things were different and striving to make them so--as long as we all understand the reality. And on this one we do; no one of passable intelligence has been fooled into believing guns magically disappear from a campus when it is declared gun-free. No one has been lied to. You're trying to make a politically correct lie out of something that's not a lie and not politically correct in order to serve your political agenda. Why not cut the nonsense and just say what you think on the merits; do all college campuses need an armed police force or not and why.
6.14.2007 12:05pm
Houston Lawyer:
They should just call it a "crime-free zone" and do away with the police entirely.
6.14.2007 12:27pm
Waldensian (mail):

They should just call it a "crime-free zone" and do away with the police entirely.

I have just declared Iraq to be a war-free zone. Thank God, we can start withdrawing immediately.
6.14.2007 12:39pm
whit:
"There's nothing wrong with wishing things were different and striving to make them so--as long as we all understand the reality. "

except we don't. there are no gun free campuses. the term is a lie. that's what political correctness is - lying when it's advantageous (politically) to do so. having a sign that says "firearms prohibited on campus (except for law enforcement)" is neither politically correct, nor a lie (being basically the same thing. politcal correctness is lies for a "good cause")

saying "gun free campus" is a politically correct lie.
6.14.2007 12:48pm
whit:
peter, whether or not a campus PD is or isn't armed should be a decision made based on the facts. just like a city or town pd. it's that simple. the idea that a busy urban campus should have armed cops, especially when they are tasked with "police duties" and are well trained police (not merely door checkers) and the fact that the police chief, against great political pressure thinks they should, tends to make me believe they should be armed.
6.14.2007 12:49pm
whit:
"They should just call it a "crime-free zone" and do away with the police entirely."

actually, at a local high school in addition to a "gun free zone" sign they actually have the following sign posted at the entrance:

"criminal activity prohibited"

funny when an ironic joke you make turns out to be the reality on campus.
6.14.2007 12:51pm
davod (mail):
I agree with College Cop. Once you understand that these policeman do not just sit inside the one college but move from campus to campus and help the local police then you have to provide them with the means to defend themselves and their charges. Criminals don't decide not to shoot because of the emblem on the police car.
6.14.2007 2:14pm
mariner (mail):
Informant said:
Policy should be based on likely events, not things that have the same odds of happening as winning the state lottery.
I agree.

Since shootings at college campuses are less commonplace than winning the lottery, policies prohibiting firearms on campuses are irrational and should be rescinded.
6.14.2007 3:09pm
mariner (mail):
Informant said:
Policy should be based on likely events, not things that have the same odds of happening as winning the state lottery.
I agree.

Since shootings at college campuses are less commonplace than winning the lottery, policies prohibiting firearms on campuses are irrational and should be rescinded.
6.14.2007 3:09pm
CollegeCop:
blockquote>
Informant said:
Policy should be based on likely events, not things that have the same odds of happening as winning the state lottery.


Most police officers that I know, even in San Francisco, have never fired their guns in an incident and some hardly ever draw their weapons. I have only met a handful of police officers that have been in an actual shootout. The firearms are only there in case you "win the lottery." If you are a police officer you should be trained and armed.... Period.

I would also like to clear up a misconception here. Chief Koehler did not resign because the college would not arm us. Chief Koehler resigned because the college refused to hear the firearms issue at all. I believe Koehler would have remained Chief if the college would have listened to his firearms proposal and made a decision. If the college said no to firearms, he would have modified the way our police officers respond to incidents on campus. I really think he was just looking out for the safety of the college community and the police officers.
6.14.2007 4:49pm
Peter Young:
saying "gun free campus" is a politically correct lie.

Well what about saying "smoking free zone" when you know the reality is that there are people who are going to cheat and smoke?

Or signs saying "alcohol free zone" when you know the reality is that there are people who are going to surreptitiously sip beer?

All these and similar signs tell you is that you are violating the law if you do the prohibited activity in the area specified. They don't tell you that the prohibited activity never occurs. They don't make factual representations and every reasonable person knows that they don't.
6.14.2007 8:22pm