Seventy-five percent of college police departments now have armed officers on patrol, according to a recent study by the Justice Department. But campus police packing at Midwestern State University has been standard since the department began in the 1960s.
More and more public universities are following suit, hiring certified full service police officers as campus safety. The training is the same for university and city officers, which can be very important in dangerous situations like an active shooter.
"So they all understand what needs to be done, they've all been trained the same way so they can simply form a team together, and take care of the situation," explained Chief Dan Williams, the Chief of Police at MSU.
Since he's been chief, Williams said there's been no rise in crime on campus, with theft and burglaries the most common complaints. But he does admit that crime on college campuses in general has changed a lot in the past 25 years.
"Unfortunately there's a very minute percentage of our students who are going to prey on other students as criminals. And just was we're a college campus doesn't mean we're not going to have some serious crime on campus"
Students at MSU say campus police having guns helps them feel secure.
"I don't carry a gun, so it helps me know I'll be safe" Junior Ashley Chipman said.
"If there was something to happen on campus," said Junior Romeo Botelau, "and we would need someone who has a weapon to protect us from someone that's directly on campus, instead of having to wait for other officers who aren't on campus."