Nevada University Regent Proposes Deputizing, Arming Employees

A Nevada university regent wants to allow campus employees to be deputized and armed to respond with force to a college shooting.

Regent Stavros Anthony, a Las Vegas police captain, said he'll propose the Nevada System of Higher Education allow employees from
faculty members to maintenance workers to be certified as reserve
police officers.

They could be armed because state law allows police officers to carry a gun on university system property.

"From my standpoint, I see this as kind of a win-win," Anthony told the Las Vegas Review-Journal for a Wednesday report. "You're allowing institution employees to step up to the plate and say, 'I'm for standing up and defending our institution."'

The proposal is receiving support from university Chancellor Jim Rogers, and Anthony said University of Nevada, Las Vegas Police Chief Jose Elique was enthusiastic about it.

"I think it's the system's investment to take care of the safety of the people on campus," Rogers said.

The proposal to give employees police powers, he said, is a reaction to last month's shootings at Virginia Tech, in which a gunman killed 32 people and himself.

Anthony, chairman of the regents' Cultural Diversity and Security Committee, said he would add an agenda item at the next Board of Regents' meeting to require Nevada universities to devise plans to let employees get Peace Officers' Standards and Training certification. The training is the same for every police officer in the state.

Anthony said certified reserve officers would not carry radios or respond to typical incidents on campus.

The proposal goes a step further than that of state Sen. Bob Beers, whose proposal to allow Nevada school district teachers to gain weapons training and carry guns was killed by a Senate committee last month.

Faculty leaders at UNLV and CCSN were surprised by Anthony's

"I think most of my faculty would like to come and teach, and I feel that CCSN administration does enough to keep the campus safe," CCSN Faculty Senate Chairman Alok Pandey said. "I do not think it should come to the point where we need to protect ourselves. We just want to teach."

Pandey's counterpart at UNLV, Bryan Spangelo, said he did not know of any faculty who would want to participate in the program.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)