SAN FRANCISCO COLLEGE POLICE CHIEF RESIGNS OVER NO-GUNS ON CAMPUS POLICY. STUDENTS MAY FEEL SAFER THEY'RE NOT][/size][/b][/b][size=
The police chief at City College of San Francisco has resigned after failing to persuade the school to let his police officers carry firearms. Chief Carl Koehler had recently received a rating of "satisfactory to outstanding" on his recent performance review, and administrators had recommended that his three -year contract be extended. Koehler began pushing for a policy change to allow his officers to carry guns two years ago, and renewed his efforts after Cho Seung-Hui killed 27 students and five faculty members April 16 at Virginia Tech.
San Francisco City College has 30 police officers and 10 security officers. The department depends on San Francisco police to help with incidents in which armed officers may be needed, such as an Apr. 24 case in which a 53-year-old student was arrested after shouting that he was going to kill his classmates.
Koehler said that after the Virginia Tech massacre that his officers were at a disadvantage without guns. "We are here on campus and we know the building s and we are going to be the first ones on scene," he said. "Now our plan is to have our officers back off and get the armed officers there. . . When something happens, minutes are very important and we do rely on the San Francisco Police Department. They are awsome, but they do have their issues of staffing."
The insistence on a no-guns policy is unusual on college campuses but is a long standing tradition at City College, Chancellor Phillip Day said on June 11. Day said he had received Chief Koehler's letter of resignation, dated May 29, which was scheduled to be effective June 22.
"I know that some other community college districts have their police force armed," Day said. "We do not, and I think that's a reflection of the overall culture and climate of the school in San Francisco. . . in terms of nonviolence."
Koehler spent 29 years with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, rising to chief deputy sheriff, before coming to City College.
The college's Board of Trustees has the authority to decide whether officers carry guns, but Day said Koehler's suggestion has never gotten that far. Coordinated letter-writing campaigns have periodically urged administrators to change the policy, but students, faculty members and staffers overwhelmingly favor keeping the campus gun-free, the chancellor said.
"Students may feel safer, but they are not, " said CRPA attorney Chuck Michel. "This policy doesn't stop a criminal from bringing a gun on campus. It just ensures that a criminal will not face resistance!!][/size]