With the extreme rise in public interest lately in the power of police forces I thought it would be interesting to study the police forces often overlooked but central to our lives, campus police. Every college campus of substantial size employs a police force to patrol their campuses and ensure the safety of their students. One can see such institutions would require some sort of body to keep order. A college environment can be a dangerous place considering the large numbers of young students with newly acquired freedoms, independence, and reduced surveillance. No doubt the levels of crime that naturally permeate society would also be present on college campuses, many would argue to a higher extent, especially in circumstances involving intoxication.
But how far does campus police power extend? And furthermore, What does the inflation of small police forces in largely controlled settings have to say about our culture at large? These among others are questions I will explore in my research.
Naturally, I centered on the campus police of The College of William & Mary. Quickly into my research I found that in 2014, the Norfolk based local news channel WTKR Channel 3 News screened an investigation concerning the level of local college campus police weaponry at William and Mary. It was determined that the College police force has a locker filled with fully automatic M-16 machine guns, which were applied for to the government by the College and received free of charge from a military surplus program (WTRK). It is presently unclear what these weapons are used for. This instance is not specific to the College of William and Mary; many other colleges have applied to the government and achieved greater and higher levels of weaponry surplus from the military.
So next in my research, I want to explore how our campus police force relates to others and where they received these weapons from.
WTRK News Channel 3. 2014. Military Surplus Weapons Sent to Local College Campuses.