In light of the recent shootings at Virginia Tech, University Police (UP) officers will carry their weapons on their person while on duty, Geneseo President Christopher Dahl announced in an e-mail sent to students Friday.
"My decision does not reflect any increased threat to the Geneseo college community or any change in data regarding campus crime. Rather, it is consistent with our practice of reviewing this issue on an ongoing basis. Given the changing landscape of campus and public safety - radically altered by the tragic events at Virginia Tech - we need to scrutinize all of our policies," Dahl said in his e-mail.
Until Friday, Geneseo had been the only SUNY school where officers were not armed. UP officers, who meet all standards of New York State Police, previously had firearms available in lockboxes in their squad cars. UP had lobbied the College administration to make the switch for some time, but until today, their requests had been denied.
"This modified policy will afford an additional level of protection and response, which will help continue to ensure their [UP's] personal - and our public - safety," Dahl said in the e-mail.
Dahl said that SUNY is conducting a review of all campus safety procedures after the events at Virginia Tech, and that Geneseo has already completed its own campus-wide security review.