University police to carry Tasers following CSU mandate

A new bargaining agreement between California State University and the State University Police Association Aug. 27 gave campus police access to an array of new equipment, including Tasers and pepper spray.

The collective bargaining agreement between the CSU and SUPA mandates that the CSU provide “tactical and safety equipment deemed essential to protecting” students, faculty and staff, according to an email from the Assistant Vice Chancellor Michael Redmond. A helmet and visor, protective body armor and ballistic shields must also included be in the standard equipment available to all CSU police officers, the email said.

In addition, the 23 individual campuses are responsible for training officers in the use of new equipment.

President Leslie E. Wong was notified of the decision after it had been made, he said in an interview with Golden Gate Xpress Aug. 31.

“I felt in some way that I had failed the students because we had had such a good and really honest discussion on how the students felt about this piece of equipment,” Wong said.

A debate about Taser use at SF State erupted in 2013 when the University Police Department first began training to use the electroshock weapon. After strong opposition from students, campus groups and faculty, Wong concluded that officers would not be equipped with Tasers Feb. 10. 2014.