Lawmakers to discuss armed guards at community colleges

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– On Thursday, lawmakers here in Connecticut will be discussing a bill that could lead all 12 state community college campuses to have armed security.

The bill is up for a hearing before the general assembly’s higher education and employment advancement committee. That bill would allow special police forces to be present at schools. But it still needs to be approved.

Supporters have said the police forces would be similar to those at the four state university campuses and at UConn. The board of regents for higher education needs to approve it. They say deciding whether or not to arm police on campus will ultimately be up to each school.

Back in December the board voted unanimously to approve a resolution to lift the ban on weapons, clearing the way for the special police forces, with the exception of Naugatuck Valley Community College. A spokesperson for the board says they are recommending the ban be lifted, but they’re not mandating it.

Meanwhile, Connecticut state colleges and universities system president Mark Ojakian said,

Each campus will have to make that decision for themselves but this legislation permits those campuses that want armed police forces without mandating it for those that don’t.”

Officials say what is needed for training the police will vary from campus to campus.

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