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Armed security to be planned for Carroll

(Photo Illustration/John Anderson)(Photo Illustration/John Anderson)

On January 31, 2013, Carroll Community College President, Faye Pappalardo, informed the faculty and staff of Carroll by email that some of the security staff will be armed.

“While our officers have not been required to use force, there has been a notable increase in incidents when the probability of the need to protect themselves and other has occurred.”

Wayne Livesay, the Chief of Public Safety and Security, also said that the decision to arm members of security at Carroll aims to make the school less vulnerable.

“Arming the security [at Carroll] will help protect the security officers as well as the campus.”

Carroll is not the first community college in Maryland to consider arming its security. Hagerstown Community College is one such school that already has armed security, and others look to do so as well. The weapons that Carroll is looking into arming the security with include firearms and mace.

In the decision process to determine who will be armed with firearms, Livesay said that experience is necessary.

“Anyone that will be armed will have had police experience.” As Livesay said, only the officers who have had experience as police officers will be eligible to be armed; however, not all of these officers will be armed. Livesay said that he has not determined who will carry firearms yet, but that once training begins, they can decide and plan accordingly. The training will involve practice at a shooting range as well as academic instruction.

“[The instruction] would train the security officers to react to different circumstances and when it would be necessary to use deadly force.” Livesay believes that this training would help add to the knowledge that the officers have from their law enforcement experience. The amount of time spent training the security has yet to be determined, and the Carroll County Sherriff department will aid in the training process.

Because of recent efforts to change gun laws in both the state and federal governments, Livesay said that the school is waiting to see if the laws are changed before the plan to arm security falls into place. While some laws look to add armed security to schools, such as at Carroll, others look to ban guns altogether. Livesay says that they do not want to buy any weapons and then have a law pass preventing their usage. He says that, because of this, Carroll has not yet planned the equipment that will need to be bought, so there have not yet been any cost estimates.

Although much still remains to be planned, Carroll looks to begin arming security for the upcoming summer or fall semesters.

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