Starting this fall, Portland State University’s on-campus security officers will patrol the area unarmed, the group announced Thursday on their website.
“The question of how best to keep Portland State University safe has challenged us for years,” reads the PSU update. “The continuing tragedies across our country demonstrate the disproportionate impacts and unacceptable loss of life that policing has on Black people and people of color.”
PSU Police Chief and Director of the Campus Police Security Office Willie Halliburton recorded a video that accompanied the announcement.
“Over the past few weeks, we have listened to many voices across our campus,” continues the written update on the PSU website. “The calls for change that we are hearing at PSU are ringing out across our nation. We must find a new way to protect the safety of our community, one that works to dismantle systemic racism and promotes the dignity of all who come to our urban campus.”
“Today we are making two important announcements in our effort to realize these critical goals.”
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Alongside the plan to disarm the officers, the educational institute also announced a new Reimagine Campus Safety Committee that will continue to mold the safety of the campus community in a safe and non-combative way.
“The committee’s work will be guided by our commitment to providing a campus environment that is free of racism, celebrates the diversity of our community, and honors our dedication to human dignity,” reads the update.
This news comes after the school revealed their flexible plan for returning and new students that may be attending or enrolled at PSU this fall.