WXXI AM News

U of R To Arm Some Public Safety Officers

Oct 13, 2016

University of Rochester President Joel Seligman is adopting the recommendations of a commission that suggested some public safety officers be armed.

The recommendations call for 38 public safety officers at the Medical Center, which includes Strong Hospital, to be armed, as well as four senior officers in the Department of Public Safety.

Seligman says none of the rest of the 180 public safety officers will be armed for routine assignments on the River Campus, at the Eastman School of Music, or on other non-Medical Center campuses.

Seligman says arming the officers at the Medical Center are needed to address safety concerns on a 24-hour a day, 7-day a week basis.

In terms of arming the four senior officers, Seligman says that while the U of R campuses are generally safe, there have been isolated incidents, such as the kidnapping of two undergraduates last December that cannot be ignored.

He is also creating a Public Safety Review Board, which will periodically review things like training, cultural sensitivity and any future instance of the use of a weapon by a campus officer.