Davenport University to Arm Security Officers at All 5 Campuses

The decision was made after the Michigan school conducted a two-year feasibility study following a shooting inside a dorm room.

Michigan’s Davenport University has made the decision to arm its security officers after years of consideration.

The university conducted a two-year feasibility study to decide if they should arm officers, reports Fox 17. The process began in 2016 after a former student was shot through his dorm room door.

Once armed, the public safety department will be considered private sworn police and will have to meet state mandates, according to Fox 47. Matt Miller, executive director of risk management at the university, said the qualification and training process will be rigorous and will include diversity training.

“We’re a very safe campus, few issues. We pride ourselves on our safety. But when we looked at what was happening in the national scene, and active shooters, and the other issues at the national scene that are in play, we felt that it would probably be in our best interest to move toward having an armed capability for our public safety team,” Miller added.

Students will be asked for feedback once the program is implemented, likely starting in September.

“We know with arming any kind of educational facility, it’s a hot button issue right, that’s why we’ve spent so much time interacting with the various groups on campus,” Miller said.

Prior to the decision, officers were only armed with handcuffs. Some students have voiced concerns over the drastic change.

“They don’t have tasers, they don’t have batons or anything like that, so why would you go from a flashlight to a gun, that could kill me, that could kill him?” student Michael Catching said back in April.

Other students are welcoming of the decision.

“The way the world is today, it’s better to have somebody with training, who’s trained with weapons and have a gun like a security guard, than not having anything. It’s so easy, I mean they have windows in all the doors,” said student Gery Dankenbring.

Davenport is a private, non-profit university with five campuses throughout Michigan and online. Its main campus is in Grand Rapids.

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Amy is Campus Safety’s Senior Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy’s mother, brother, sister-in-law and a handful of cousins are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

In her free time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband, her son and her dog.

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