Portland State University has quietly returned guns to its campus police force, nearly three years after anti-police protests and riots in the Oregon city led the school to disarm its officers.
"Unfortunately, the environment around the PSU campus has changed since that time," the university's president Stephen Percy wrote in an announcement yesterday, Fox News reports.
Percy cited rising crime, an increase in weapons near campus and lack of support from the Portland Police Bureau for the policy change.
Student activists had lobbied for years to have campus police disarmed. But it wasn't until the height of the 2020 protests, which raged for more than 100 consecutive nights, that Portland State announced its officers would stop routinely carrying guns on patrol.
"We can do an effective job without weapons," PSU campus safety chief Willi Halliburton told The Oregonian at the time. "I know they’re talented to do their jobs without the use of a weapon."
PSU reversed course on Feb. 14, according to The Oregonian, but didn't announce the change until this week.
"Recently, our officers encountered individuals on campus with weapons," Halliburton said. "This has made me make the hard decision to have more armed patrols on campus."