Portland State University trustees say they will take the summer to review the university’s campus safety plan, pushing back a decision on whether to disarm campus police officers.
Interim president Stephen Percy said in a meeting Thursday that students and faculty will have time to offer opinions on whether to disarm campus officers after they return to PSU in the fall. Percy says groups are discussing more than 100 recommendations laid out in an independent review of campus safety published earlier this year.
Almost one year ago, two campus police officers shot and killed a black man outside a bar just off campus. Jason Washington, 45, had been attempting to break up a fight. A Multnomah County grand jury cleared the officers of wrongdoing, but Washington’s death prompted protests on campus and demands that school leaders reconsider their 2015 decision to arm campus police.
Trustees hired an outside consulting firm, Margolis Healy, to study their campus safety policy. The consultants found significant deficiencies in university oversight and communications with PSU students and faculty around the issue of armed police, but they also recommended keeping guns in the hands of officers.
Students urging disarmament protested at Thursday’s trustees meeting. Percy took over PSU last month after president Rahmat Shoureshi resigned under pressure.