Many college and university police departments throughout the state now carry tasers to ensure safety on campus.
But don’t expect the Central Michigan University Police Department to jump on board anytime soon.
Lt. Cameron Wassman said although the department has looked into the potential of buying tasers, it has not yet been done and isn’t an issue high on the priority list.
“I would say it’s not on our immediate plans to do it,” Wassman said. “It’s another tool available for law enforcement that could be of benefit, but we haven’t even got to that point, and I don’t know that we will.”
State universities including Michigan State University, Western Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University and Saginaw Valley State University, among others, have decided to give their police force tasers to ensure safety for officers and students.
Although officials undergo training before being issued a taser, Wassman said there are still concerns.
“There’s some mixed feelings on tasers,” he said. “They do what they’re supposed to do, but at what cost? I would suspect that’s one of the reasons we haven’t moved forward on that.”
Students on CMU’s campus have mixed feelings on the issue as well.
Dearborn senior Stephanie Santostasi said she would feel more secure on campus if CMU officers carried tasers.
“I feel that with all the recent mishaps on campus lately, other students would probably agree with me that this is something that is necessary,” she said. “I definitely would feel a lot safer as well.”
However, Clarkston senior Katelyn Coates said the idea of officers carrying tasers on campus is unsettling.
“I don’t think tasers are necessary on campuses,” she said. “They should be used for high crime areas to control high risk criminals that are a threat to society. College students are not that and I don’t believe college campuses are anywhere near dangerous where tasers have to be used.”
Outside of CMU’s campus, police departments have carried tasers for quite some time in Mount Pleasant.
The Mount Pleasant police department and the Isabella County sheriff’s department both agree tasers, if used properly, can be useful to police officials.
“We’ve carried tasers for years,” Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski said. “It’s been quite a valuable tool, and our deputies have them.”