South Puget Sound Community College director of security Lonnie Hatman said he believes violence will not be affected by the decision made on the proposed weapons policy revision.
This recent discussion is about whether or not students should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon on campus with the correct permit.
Campus security does not have the power to arrest, and they do not carry firearms themselves.
Hatman said he is happy security does not have guns, and would not have the job of director of security if he did not agree with security not carrying guns.
Security Lieutenant Douglas Swift said, “it is not that we don’t have the right to carry a sidearm, we have not been given the right.”
A lot of the college’s security officers have worked in many fields including FBI, military, special forces, and other academies and have worked with a handgun at their sides, said Swift.
Swift said he does not think security having guns would make much of a difference to security. He said most security policies come from calculated risks.
Swift said he thinks if we needed to have a certain change in something such as security carrying firearms, the risks would have been calculated by the correct authorities already.
He said it is a much deeper question than what most people ask.
“Many new decisions are included if there was a switch to armed security such as new hiring and training,” said Swift.
“We will carry firearms when the campus community asks us to,” he said.
Hatman said, “There is always a uniformed presence on this campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.”
When asked about how effective security is at seeing situations, Swift said, “It’s like walking into a room and everybody is quiet: it is awkward; you know something is wrong.”
Hatman said, “I think we are effective compared to other places if you look at the numbers, like downtown Olympia.”
Hatman said there was an incident recently where a student took off his jacket to reveal a concealed weapon.
Security policy in the Crime report said a display of any weapon that either “manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons is prohibited.”
He had a permit, but just seeing the weapon had some students on edge, so security was called. Officers asked the man why he had the weapon, and he said because he had the right.
Hatman said security asked the student to put the gun away, and he said he would. the situation went well, said Hatman.
Hatman said there have been only two more instances like this one involving guns in the six years he has worked at the college. the situations went just as far as this one, and nobody got hurt, he said.
Hatman said the weapons-policy debate will be a controversial issue, but whatever decision is made, campus security will enforce the policy the campus has to the best of their ability.