State board gives permission for UO to arm police officers

Today, the State Board of Higher Education granted permission to the University of Oregon to equip its sworn police officers with firearms.  At the meeting, UO President Michael Gottfredson expressed appreciation to the campus community and partners for their involvement through discussions about safety and security.

“Many people have been involved in conversations that will lead to a more meaningful relationship with our law enforcement professionals and improve the safety and security of our community,” said President Gottfredson. 

Community partners, including local and state law enforcement agencies, submitted their support for consideration by the state board.

“Law enforcement partners are most effective when they are equally capable and equally dependent upon one another,” said Alex R. Gardner, Lane County District Attorney in a letter to President Gottfredson in early June that was included in supplemental materials for the docket item. 

Vice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt told state board members that UOPD’s sworn police officers are committed professionals who are ready to provide enhanced police services to the UO’s 295-acre campus.

“Our senior police leadership team is led by Chief Carolyn McDermed and has decades of policing experience.  I am confident that they can provide the police services that will best meet the needs of our campus community and align to our academic mission,” said Moffitt.

UOPD has 11 sworn police officers in command staff roles who will begin carrying firearms in the line of duty immediately. UOPD is in the middle of the hiring process for its first police line officers. These officers are expected to be hired and sworn by the beginning of fall term.

- from the UO Office of Strategic Communications