QUEENSBURY — Public safety officers at SUNY Adirondack will be wearing body cameras and body armor and will be armed with Tasers in January. And they will be armed with Glock 9-millimeter handguns before the next freshman class arrives in September, as the result of an October vote by the college’s board of trustees.
The 7-2 vote followed a recommendation of President Kristine Duffy to arm the officers. The vote also approved a lockdown system for the campus.
The proposal specifically called for Tasers, rather than stun guns.
The two board members who voted against the proposal were Bernice Mennis and Queensbury Supervisor John Strough. Trustee Cailie Currin was absent.
Board Chairwoman Patricia Pietropaolo, Harry Booth, Kathleen Grasmeder, Robert Judge, John Morabito and Alan Redeker all voted in favor of the proposal, as did Jac’Quan Thompson, the student trustee.
Until 2004, the campus used private security guards, then hired one campus public safety officer. In 2013, the campus replaced all security guards with public safety officers. The public safety office was designated as an official law enforcement agency at that time.
Duffy indicated she did not think arming officers would change the tone of the campus.
“I would expect the atmosphere of the college to remain the same with no significant impact on the daily functions of the college as a center of learning,” she wrote in an email.
The school has nine peace officers in total, consisting of full-time and nine-month officers. There are six on-call officers as well.
The five-year lease for the Tasers and body cameras costs just under $90,000. During that time, the college will receive new Tasers and cameras at the two-and-a-half year mark, and if the college renews, at the five-year mark. The package price for both was significantly less than leasing them individually.
The Glock firearms will cost $6,864. Each officer will also be issued body armor, at a total cost of $10,650.