A slew of police officers wearing bike helmets and riding Segways is making students feel safer on the University of Kansas campus. That’s the word from the KU Daily Kansan. The student-run paper reports an uptick in Segway patrols seeks to better protect students.
“In light of concealed carry on campus and recent violence, the KU Public Safety Office has implemented more foot patrol,” the caption under a police officer in a bicycle helmet reads.
The story doesn’t mention any recent violence on campus, but the reporter quotes a student who says the Segway patrols are a welcome change.
Jonah Joffe, a senior in strategic communications, told the paper a new law that allows law abiding students to legally carry concealed weapons on campus makes him uncomfortable.
“Politics aside, I just don’t like the fact that students are able to carry guns on campus, especially with all the violence that has happened, with all these school shootings,” Joffe said.
The law allowing students to legally carry concealed firearms went into effect this summer. No shootings on campus have been reported, but three people were killed in a shooting in downtown Lawrence last month. None of the victims were university students. It is illegal to shoot people. Though no gun incidents have been reported at Kansas State University, a graduate student reported an unattended handgun found in a KU bathroom earlier this year. The gun was a stolen weapon, and authorities have yet to determine how it wound up loaded and unattended in a KU restroom.
Lawmakers adopted legislation allowing people to legally carry concealed weapons in publicly-owned buildings a few years ago unless adequate security, like armed guards and metal detectors, was in place to eliminate all weapons. Public universities had a few years to consider adding security measures.
KU didn’t increase security measures to prohibit all guns, but the school’s public safety office added safety and security officers in response to law-abiding students being allowed to legally conceal firearms on campus.
“It’s not everyday we’re going to use ‘adequate security measures’ so we said we’re going to provide more officers on patrol in the main campus area,” Public Safety Office Deputy James Anguiano told the student paper.