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FLCC to arm campus peace officers
Canandaigua, N.Y. - The Finger Lakes Community College will begin arming their peace officers before the next school year.
In 2007, discussions about arming officers began after the shootings at Virginia Tech. Since, the nine peace officers at the college have had 60 hours of arms training at the Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Academy -the same training as Ontario County sheriff's deputies.
In December, FLCC President Barbara Risser accepted the recommendation from the College Council, the college-wide governing body, to arm the school's peace officers.
Currently officers carry batons and pepper spray, but recently the culture has made a shift. According to campus security director Jason Maitland many students and parents expect the officers to be armed.
"When a parent comes into a college and asks, 'is there a school resource officer here?' that's a question we're seeing," said Maitland, "so this generation is definitely more comfortable with school integrating law enforcement."
"It wasn't too different for me when I was in high school I had a school resource officer who was armed 24/7," said FLCC student Kelby Harvey, "so to be honest with you it was kind of a normal thing so it's not a big deal."
The FLCC peace officers will be going through additional 24-hours of fire arms training, with the Ontario County Sheriff's Office, between now and when they become armed.
Eighty-two percent of four-year public colleges, around the same size of FLCC, have armed officers.
Monroe Community College armed their officers in 2013.