Nearly all campus police officers at public universities now carry guns, pepper spray and other weapons, according to a new Bureau of Justice Statistics Department report.
Overall, about two-thirds of public and private campuses used armed officers during the 2011-12 school year, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics survey of 900 four-year colleges with at least 2,500 students. Officers at public universities were more than twice as likely as those at private schools to carry guns.
Despite the increase, schools aren't required to report weapon use to federal authorities.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics last surveyed campus law enforcement agencies in 2004-05. Of the 700 campuses questioned for both reports, the number of agencies arming their officers rose from 68 percent to 75 percent. About 32,000 people were working full-time for campus law enforcement at four-year institutions in 2011-12, the report said.
About 92 percent of public campuses used sworn police officers, those with full arrest powers, and most sworn officers were authorized to carry guns, pepper spray and batons and to patrol beyond campus boundaries, the report said. About 40 percent could carry a stun gun.
Law enforcement agencies at four-year schools with at least 2,500 students handled an average of five sexual assaults or other violent crimes in 2011, and 180 property crimes, including thefts and burglaries, according to the report.