Portland, Or. – A security consulting firm has recommended PSU keep its armed police, but provide better training and oversight. It was hired after the deadly shooting of Jason Washington by campus police last June. A grand jury cleared the officers of wrong doing.
Margolis Healy offered 100 recommendations in its more than 200 page report. Steven Healy told the board of trustees the recommendations will require a significant investment and the university may not be able to afford them all.
When asked what the top recommendations would be, he replied more training, oversight, safety improvements to the physical space on campus and engagement with the campus community.
It took a survey which shows 52% of the campus community want officers disarmed, 37% want them to keep their guns and 10% were undecided.
During a break in the meeting, a handful of students stood and chanted disarm PSU and repeated the names of people killed on campuses throughout the country, including Washington who was shot and killed last June near the PSU campus.
Student testimony included Kaitlyn Day who said she is upset with the report and doesn’t agree with a lot of the recommendations. She said PSU officers should be disarmed and community based solutions should be used instead. She said Margolis Healy “is made up of former law enforcement and they were always going to give us law enforcement” solutions.
The board of trustees did not vote on the recommendations today, but discussed next steps. It will form a committee to assess impacts of the recommendations and will help the board prioritize. The committee will get back to the board in May and the board will consider the recommendations at its June meeting.