Updated 2/10/2012: Becky Metrick of the ODE has the scoop:
The guns, which are being used solely for training purposes, were ordered back in November after Lariviere signed a directive that authorized the creation of an official police force.
“Part of that document required DPS to acquire firearms for the certification, re-certification and training and skills maintained,” Executive Director and Chief of the Department of Public Safety Doug Tripp said. “As a part of the certification process, we must provide weapons.”
Here’s what the ODE printed on October 10, also by Becky Metrick, just 4 months ago, after the OUS Board authorized conversion from a public safety department to a sworn police force:
One of the biggest areas of debate has been whether the police force will be armed, but the board explicitly stated that its decision Friday did not include the use of guns or tasers. Should the University decide it wants an armed police force, it will have to request that of the board at a future date.
Still, the issue is likely to re-emerge as many have begun to question the effectiveness of an unarmed police force, especially in the wake of the Oregon Court of Appeals’ decision two weeks ago, which abolished the Oregon University System’s concealed carry ban for weapons.
“There are police forces around the world who do not habitually carry arms,” board member Paul Kelly Jr. said. “This is a decision that’s to be made down the road.”
Obviously a lot of people have been lying to the UO students and faculty about this. But new CFO Jamie Moffitt doesn’t see what the fuss is all about:
According to Jamie Moffitt, the director of the advisory group, information about this step was sent out months ago.
“I’m surprised because we had a memo that talked about weapons to be purchased that was sent out to people, including student representatives,” Moffitt said. “This information has been out.”
She’s surprised that we’re surprised? I’ve got a request in for that memo. (Update: got it from another source. There is no sign that it was sent to students.) Meanwhile here are the last ten years of DPS spending, from the Financial Transparency Banner tool:
Or $2.6 million, 166% growth over 10 years.
Last year Tripp and Frances Dyke told the faculty that campus police were going to save UO $73,000. This year their budget grew $475,000. Dyke has now been put out to pasture as a “special assistant” to the provost. We’re paying her $223,118 – an $11,000 raise over last year. Still wondering where our administration blew our science faculty start up money? Don’t forget to thank Senator Floyd Prozanski for pushing the armed sworn police bill through the legislature – over the objections of many Republicans.
Thanks to bojack.org for the link.