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Disarming PSU Public Safety to Start

Campus will transition to unarmed patrols

An archive photo from the Portland Observer shows students occupying Portland State University’s Campus Public Safety office following the 2019 campus officer-involved shooting death of Jason Washington. In a new commitment to innovation, PSU has announced that it will start patrolling campus unarmed by Sept. 1. PHOTO BY DANNY PETERSON


(AP) -- Public safety officers at Portland State University will start patrolling campus unarmed by Sept. 1.


The university had said it would make that change in 2020, but it was unable to meet that goal, according to OPB.


The initial announcement of disarming officers on PSU’s campus came about two years after university police fatally shot Jason Washington, a Black man who was reportedly attempting to break up a fight.


PSU President Stephen Percy wrote on June 11 in a message to the campus community that Campus Public Safety Chief Willie Halliburton has committed to beginning unarmed campus patrols before the start of the fall term.


“I appreciate the leadership of Chief Halliburton and members of the CPSO team for their commitment to innovation in campus safety,” Percy wrote.


Percy formed the Reimagine Campus Safety Committee last year to plan new safety strategies.


“The committee will review the work of those groups and make recommendations this fall to my office and to the PSU Board of Trustees on the future of our campus public safety,” he wrote.

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