To: The John Carroll Community
From: Robert L. Niehoff, S.J.
Re: Arming Campus Police Officers
Date: December 5, 2013
Effective January 1, 2014, John Carroll University Campus Safety Services (CSS) is transitioning to an armed police department, and changing its name to the John Carroll University Police Department (JCU PD).
The decisions first to train and now to arm our campus police officers is the culmination of a five-year process of analysis and reflection. On numerous occasions, in Carroll News stories and campus notifications, and more specifically during the 2012-13 academic year in a campus open forum, we discussed how to keep our campus safe. This community dialogue with faculty, staff, and students voiced a variety of opinions and resulted in a unanimous Student Union resolution, which requested the University to provide firearms to our police officers to enhance campus safety.
The University’s careful assessment of school and college campus incidents of violence around the nation led us to the same conclusion—it is imperative to best position the JCU PD as strategic first responders. The City of University Heights, Mayor Susan Infeld, and Chief Steve Hammett of the University Heights Police Department have been an integral part of our preparation. This decision positions our police department to work even more closely with the UH Police Department, which will benefit our campus and the city.
In the past year, John Carroll created a Use of Force Policy in consultation with Mr. Lewis Merletti, former Director of the United States Secret Service, to be put in place if and when a decision was reached to provide our police officers with firearms. Our police officers have, for many years, been provided with comprehensive firearms training and have met the firearms qualification standards required of all sworn police officers in the State of Ohio.
I wish to thank Mr. Tim Peppard, Director of Campus Safety Services; Dr. Mark McCarthy, Vice President for Student Affairs; Chief Hammett; and Mr. Merletti, for their work over the last several years to prepare the campus and our officers for these campus safety improvements. Being proactive and realistic about the world we live in today requires us to provide our police officers with the best training available and the proper tools necessary to keep our campus community
Please join me in thanking our campus police officers who are here every day to help keep John Carroll as safe as it is beautiful.