In the wake of recent school shootings, heretofore unarmed Department of Public Safety officers at Princeton University will soon have access to rifles for use in emergency situations involving an active shooter, DPS Executive Director Paul Ominsky announced Monday.
“The national best practices for responding to an active shooter have evolved,” Ominsky said, according to the Daily Princetonian, “It is now a law enforcement best practice to get an armed officer to the scene as quickly as possible to save lives.”
“Response time matters,” Ominsky added. ”Even a few minutes can make a difference to save a life.”
Under current university policy, an active shooter on campus requires an armed response from the Princeton Police Department, while Public Safety officers would remain unarmed and provide support.
“DPS will not have access to rifles for any other purpose than to respond to an active shooter or someone brandishing a firearm,” Ominsky said. “Our priority is ensuring the safety of our students, our faculty and our staff.”
As the Daily Princetonian reports, Princeton University Department of Public Safety officers train at the New Jersey police academy for 26 weeks and have the power to make arrests, but they’ve never been armed. Now, that’s about to change.
The new university policy will take effect in the coming months.