LCU campus security could soon carry guns - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

LCU campus security could soon carry guns

LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) -

A local university is beefing up security.

Lubbock Christian University is working toward a license through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement that would allow them to commission their own officers.

That means their campus security officers could soon be carrying guns.

Mike Smith is the Director of Public Safety for the university and said he has graduated from a basic peace officer academy and is preparing for a transition the university has considered for a while.

"We've looked at this for a number of years now. And up until 15, 16 months ago, we hadn't decided to move this direction," Smith said.

So, what prompted the change?

"There's not really an incident. There's times you have to be reactive to things especially when it comes to protecting our students, protecting our university," Smith said.

Smith said right now, the university has nine non-sworn officers licensed through the Texas Department of Public Safety.

He said they are now prepared to seek a license through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

"They are sworn by the State of Texas to uphold the law of the State of Texas and we really think that the training that comes with a peace officer and the ongoing support and training really does what we need for LCU the best,” Smith said.

Smith said they plan on employing around a dozen officers.

"I really think that's about the right target for us. We don't think we will ever be a huge department by any means," Smith said.

Smith said they have a great relationship with the Lubbock police and sheriff's office and will continue to depend on that relationship, but want to take a proactive approach.

"When you are talking about an emergency situation, a violent situation, a couple minutes is a lifetime and we just feel that if we can pick up a couple minutes then it's totally worth it,” Smith said.

Smith said the whole process should take a few months.

He said they do have security on campus at all times.

He said while they are seeking that license, they will most likely have a combination of officers who can and cannot carry a gun.

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