La. lawmaker wants college campus security study following Orego - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

La. lawmaker wants college campus security study following Oregon massacre


In the wake of the Oregon college campus massacre, a Louisiana lawmaker will push for a study of college campus security statewide, involving both state funded higher education institutions and private colleges and universities.Meanwhile some college students think it is time for metal detectors on campuses.

When the lack of respect for life strikes as it did in Oregon the impact travels.

"I'm always scared about something bad like that happening,” said local college student Malcolm Pitchford. 

A day after nine people were killed on a community college campus in Oregon, everyone from students to lawmakers pondered how to reduce the chances of something like that happening here.

"There are many cases where I would say plenty campuses that need more security,” said university student Trent Sims.

"We're fortunate that we haven't seen a situation in the state of Louisiana whereby we've had the kind of catastrophe that we've seen in Oregon and other places around the country, but it only takes one time for that to happen,” said State Rep. Wesley Bishop, D-New Orleans.

Bishop is a member of the Education Committee in the House of Representatives.  He said given another mass shooting on a school campus he has concerns and thinks a campus security study is warranted in Louisiana for higher education institutions.

"Maybe there's something that one university is in north Louisiana that we're not doing here, so let's figure out what the best practices are to protect our students faculty and staff,” said Rep. Bishop.

"The whole idea of effective investigations is not arriving at the crime scene, it's stopping it before it happens,” said former local FBI Chief Jim Bernazzani, who also worked to prevent terrorism on U.S. soil before coming to New Orleans.

He believes campus police forces should balance the inherent openness of most college and university campuses with changing security needs.

"Your police force has to be adequately trained and continually retrained to understand the changing threat landscape,” Bernazzani stated.

Students at many local high schools already face metal detectors daily.  Now some local college students said they would not mind such equipment on their campuses.

“We have a lot of security checks in all our buildings, yeah, I mean metal detectors would help, it would just be safer,” said Pitchford.

"It would delay some things for sure, but the safety would be worth it,” said student Sims.

But while some college students wouldn't mind metal detectors on their campuses, Bernazzani has a different take.

"No, no metal detectors, for goodness sakes, a large majority of the activity on a university campus is open air, I mean how do you do that?” he said.

Some students agree.

"I think for the most part it wouldn't do that much help because if somebody does want to commit like that strong of an act of violence maybe a metal detector wouldn't necessarily deter that, you know, so I'm kind of against it,” said Sierra Carvalho.

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