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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Nov. 2, 2007

Regents approve security policy that arms officers

by Anne Krapfl

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved a new campus security policy Oct. 31 that delegates implementation authority to the presidents of the three regent universities. The policy includes guidelines and benchmark requirements in areas such as emergency communications, personal safety, critical incident response and a police department, but leaves specifics to each of the three campuses.

The board approved the policy by a 6-2 vote, with regents Jenny Connolly, Robert Downer, Jack Evans, Ruth Harkin, Craig Lang and David Miles in favor. Regents Michael Gartner and Rose Vasquez opposed it, primarily for its arming component. Regent Bonnie Campbell was not present.

Board members discussed at length the intent of the arming section of the policy, and whether it mandated that certified officers carry guns, or simply authorized university presidents to decide if officers on their campuses would carry guns. In the end, they decided it was the former. When questioned by Gartner about his preference, President Gregory Geoffroy said the distinction didn't matter; the outcome would be the same at Iowa State.

Miles argued successfully that the arming question is a significant issue and ought to be decided at the board level.

"I don't want our institution heads focusing on this. We should settle the matter or we haven't fulfilled our responsibility," he said.

"The important thing is, it passed," said Jerry Stewart, director of ISU's department of public safety. "We believe this decision will enhance the safety of all community members, and give our officers a higher level of protection."

Among the requirements in the comprehensive policy are:

  • Approved firearms and ammunition that campus police officers will use.
  • An emergency communication system that includes outdoor warning systems, voice and text messaging systems and Web information sites.
  • An all-hazard plan for responding to critical incidents.
  • Hiring, staffing and training standards that meet or exceed professional standards.

Stewart said most of what's required of the universities in the new policy already is in place at Iowa State.


The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, voted 6-2 in favor of a campus security policy that would arm campus policy officers.


More coverage from the Nov. 2 meeting of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.