The answer to whether or not we should have armed officers at Orange Coast College is not as cut or dry as we may like.
The Coast Report Editorial Board is of the belief that the current Campus Safety officers at OCC should not be armed with guns.
We are, however, on board for hiring a few dedicated officers that would carry a gun on campus.
After the Coast Report broke the news that the Coast Community College District was considering putting guns in the hands of our Campus Safety officers, the Coast Report Editorial Board struggled to land firmly on one side of the debate.
We believe that the solution is somewhere in the middle.
Considering that OCC is a rather safe campus, we don’t see the arming of all our officers as a necessity.
In addition to our relative safety compared to other campuses, we are also in close proximity to the Costa Mesa Police Department which makes the presence of armed officers on campus less of a necessity.
We do acknowledge that this decision is not just about OCC. The decision that is made will become policy for all schools within the district.
With that in mind, we have decided to support a compromise since the environment at each college varies.
The members of the Coast Report Editorial Board are in favor of bringing one or two armed officers on each campus.
We do not support putting the burden of carrying a gun on the current Campus Safety officers but instead leave that for the officers that were specifically trained to do so.
Some may believe that the move to arm Campus Safety officers is unnecessary.
The Coast Report believes that, while the current environment doesn’t seem to warrant it, having armed guards on campus may be what’s necessary in the worst case scenario.
With these compromises, the Coast Report Editorial Board believes that OCC can sit comfortably and never be faced with the question, “what if?”