Report to PSU: 52% want campus police disarmed

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After Portland State University campus police shot Jason Washington to death in June 2018, campus activists have engaged in an effort to get the PSU police to disarm.

Late Friday, the university released a “campus safety assessment report” that includes specific recommendations from a Vermont-based safety and security consultant.

That group, Margolis Healy, put together a 209-page report that includes a survey showing that 52% of participants think the campus police should disarm. Another 37% said they should keep their weapons and about 10% had no opinion.

The report also found a belief that campus police weren’t adequately trained.

A screen grab from cell phone video in the moments surrounding Jason Washington's fatal shooting by PSU police, June 29, 2018 (Courtesy to KOIN)

But, the report states, PSU should keeps its armed officers “so that they are available to respond to violent and potentially violent situations.”

In the release accompanying the report, PSU said other key recommendations of the report are to enhance new officer training, train officers for racial and biased based policing, add more non-sworn campus police, used mental health professionals on some calls, put together a community liasion unit, expand outreach with homeless advocates and put better lighting around campus.

A public meeting on this report is set for 9 a.m. March 7 at the Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom on campus. 

But the PSU Board of Trustees will not be voting on the recommendations of this report at this meeting. They will, however, talk about the next steps.

KOIN coverage on the Jason Washington case

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