The presidents of the three state-supported universities are recommending that the State Board of Regents allow their police officers to carry guns. The presidents of Iowa State, Iowa and Northern Iowa have each sent a letter to the Regents saying they favor ending a 40-year ban on campus police officers carrying guns.
The topic has been debated for several years — but was given renewed attention after the fatal shootings on the campus of Virginia Tech. Governor Chet Culver, a Virginia Tech graduate, asked each of the school’s to review the issue and make a recommendation.
All three schools held forums and discussions on the proposal. The faculty senates at Iowa and Iowa State each voted in favor of arming officers, while the U-N-I faculty senate voted against the proposal.
All three presidents cited the fact that campus officers currently receive the same training as other peace officers in the state. And each said they favor arming the officers as long as the officers are kept up-to-date with training in the use of firearms. The presidents’ recommendations were to be released Friday in preparation for next week’s Regents meeting in Council Bluffs, but were released early due to the interest in the issue. The presidents won’t comment further on their recommendations until the regents meeting.