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Quinnipiac University has decided to have armed safety officers patrolling its three campuses, including the 104-acre medical school in North Haven.
In a decision by the university's top administration, the senior public safety officers-retired state and local police-started patrolling the university's three campuses at the beginning of the current semester, which started Jan. 21.
"The decision to arm senior public safety officers was made in accordance with our belief that nothing is more important than maintaining the safety and security of all members of the university community," Mark Thompson, executive vice president and provost, said in a memo that was emailed to the university community and posted on the university's internal web site.
New senior public safety officers will join the unarmed school safety officers who already patrol on foot and in cars at Quinnipiac's Mount Carmel Campus, which has 212 acres in Hamden; the York Hill Campus, also in Hamden, with its 234 acres; and the North Haven campus, which houses the recently opened medical school and is the future home of the law school.
When asked for specifics on the security presence on the North Haven campus, John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations at Quinnipiac, said simply, "We're not discussing specifics about how many senior public safety officers will be on each of the three campuses."
The Center for Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences on the North Haven campus has 325,000 square feet of space, faculty and administrative offices, a 350-seat auditorium, a library, and a full-service dining hall.
"By having senior public safety officers on all three campuses," Thompson wrote, "response times to incidents requiring an armed officer will be shortened and the responding officer will be intimately familiar with the University."
Quinnipiac's program will be modeled after the best practices of other universities-with strict adherence to federal and state law, according to Thompson. The university examined the public safety models at several schools, including Yale University, the University of Connecticut, Fairfield University, and the University of Hartford.
Yale University and the University of Connecticut have police officers patrolling their campuses.