Campuses to acquire automatic weapons
State OKs new guns for police at Kent State, University of Akron
BY JOEL MORONEY
Special to the Beacon Journal
Campus police are getting M-16s.
The University of Akron wants 10.
Kent State? Just eight.
On Monday, the state controlling board approved an Ohio Department of
Public Safety request to buy about 150 fully automatic M-16 assault
rifles for, among others, university and metropolitan park police.
Most of the M-16s will be converted to semiautomatic rifles. Police say
the weapons will be used for training or to replace older rifles that need
But one controlling member, state Sen. Rhine McLin, D-Dayton, is
questioning the need for such weapons on college campuses and in parks,
as well as the experience of the officers who will be using them.
``We're going to allow the officers to have M-16s to keep the peace, to
help with drug operations?'' asked McLin, one of two controlling board
members to vote against the measure.
``I mean, I've seen some of those park people and I don't know how
comfortable I'd be knowing -- even though they are classified as peace
officers -- that they have access to M-16s.''
Campus police said McClin was misinformed about their training and that
they are trained as thoroughly as any other police department.
Campus police departments applied to purchase the guns, part of a
federal surplus program, because they're cheaper than semiautomatic
weapons on the market.
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