Board of education disarms officers

The campus safety officers will not only lose their badges but also their guns.

After much debate, the Clackamas Community College board of education came to an agreement and Bob Cochran, dean of campus services, elaborated on the subject. “Their resolution was starting July 1 our officers won’t be armed, that was a decision they made in conjunction with the decommissioning,” said Cochran. “When our renewal came up, they said we’re going to decommission you also so we are not giving you police powers.”

One resolution is the decommissioning and disarming of campus officers.

“There’s a potential for two contracts, with either Oregon City or Clackamas County officers, next school year, that will be on campus to provide police powers,” said Cochran.

One of our campus safety officers, Timothy Cato said, “It’s a change that we hadn’t anticipated. It’s going to change our abilities drastically but we have a community to serve here so we have to adapt and do the best we can with what means we have and with the advancements of a deputy contracted we’ll still have that police presence here.”

A threat on campus can occur anytime, with or without armed officers. The college works in preventing this by having a behavioral intervention team, constant assessments and interactions with each other.

The college is still on the hunt for a new campus safety director. Cochran said that it was necessary to wait for the board of education to come into an agreement about the officers in order to complete the overview of the job. They are now working with a recruiter and have a job posting on the website.

Cato said, “Whether we’re police or not, I think that our safety level is very high here.”

— Merari Calderon Ruiz