Police at the University of Rhode Island could soon be carrying firearms following a vote Thursday by state education officials to end Rhode Island’s distinction as the only state to prohibit police on public campuses from carrying guns.
The Rhode Island Board of Education voted 8-1 to allow leaders at the state’s three institutions of higher education to decide for themselves whether to arm campus police.
URI President David Dooley favors the idea. The Community College of Rhode Island does not plan to arm its police. Rhode Island College officials are studying the idea and have not decided either way.
Calls to arm campus police got a boost after reports of a gunman in a URI building last month. No gun or shooter was found, but supporters of arming campus police say the incident highlighted security weaknesses.
While the first campus police arrived within about a minute, officers could not enter the building because…