George Washington University moving forward with armed police plan
Despite pushback from students, the higher education institution wants to arm roughly 20 of about 50 officers with 9 mm handguns.
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George Washington University (GW) first announced in April its intention to arm roughly 20 officers with 9 mm handguns in response to the increasing school shootings at colleges like Michigan State University, the University of Virginia, and Tennessee elementary school.
GW notes that only the officers who meet specific training requirements will be armed.
Under the new campus safety plan, officers must “complete a virtual reality training simulator and a 56-hour firearm course that includes information about nonlethal force and liability,” Higher ED Dive reports.
Soon after GW released the safety plan, students and faculty rallied to oppose the university’s stance on arming officers—leading to protests and petitions, arguing the use of guns “makes de-escalation impossible.
According to a report, more than 95% of civilian deaths involve police firearms. Gun violence disproportionately impacts Black and brown communities, who “experience 12 times the gun homicides, 18 times the gun assault injuries, and nearly three times the fatal police shootings of white Americans.”
To hold officers accountable, GW will release an annual report about the use of force on campus. Members of the GW community are encouraged to share feedback by June 23.