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SOURCE: Concealed Weapons Law Costs Idaho Colleges $3.7 Million

Concealed Weapons Law Costs Idaho Colleges $3.7 Million The concealed carry law permits retired law enforcement officers and people holding the state's enhanced concealed-carry permit to bring firearms to campus. Bill Dentzer, The Idaho Statesman | February 3, 2015



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(TNS) — Five of Idaho's universities and community colleges have spent more than $1.5 million to beef up security after the law allowing concealed weapons on campuses was approved, and the schools expect total costs to top $3.7 million for the year.

The schools likely will have to absorb the cost from existing funds. They sought additional funding this winter to offset their costs in the current budget year, which began July 1. But Gov. Butch Otter did not include the money and the Legislature is not likely to add any.

The five schools — Boise State University, Idaho State University, the University of Idaho, the College of Western Idaho and North Idaho College — sought $1.55 million for expenses already incurred and another $2.17 million for the rest of the year. The costs are for both continuing and one-time expenses for personnel, training and equipment.

The concealed carry law, passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor last year, took effect July 1. It permits retired law enforcement officers and those people holding the state's enhanced concealed-carry permit to bring firearms to campus, but bans weapons in dormitories and buildings that can hold more than 1,000 people, such as sports or concert venues.

Idaho is one of seven states, along with Oregon, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Utah and Wisconsin, to allow concealed weapons on college campuses. Twenty-one states ban guns on campus and 22 others leave it up to colleges. Eight of Idaho's academic presidents and the state Board of Education opposed the legislation.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Boise, passed by better than 2-1 margins in the House and Senate. A fiscal note accompanying the legislation predicted minimal "fiscal impact associated with posting signage at public entertainment facilities."

But the schools say they have had to add new staff, provide for training and purchase new equipment. Costs this budget year include:

• Boise State University: $1.4 million for an assistant director for event security, a chief of campus police and public safety, a director of emergency management, a security technology manager, armed and unarmed officers, administrative support and purchase of metal detectors, signs, a security vehicle and ballistic vests.

• Idaho State University: $809,000 for four senior security officers, six dispatch officers, an emergency manager, metal detectors, firearms for security officers and protective/response equipment.

• University of Idaho: $580,000 in addition to the existing contract with the Moscow Police Department. Costs cover a new security system manager, security cameras, hardware and software related to new equipment to monitor entrances and exits.

• College of Western Idaho: $285,000 for an armed school resource officer contracted from a local department and equipment.

• North Idaho College: $622,000 for unspecified personnel, a campuswide exterior surveillance system and enhanced electronic access on doors.

Boise State spokesman Greg Hahn said the concealed-carry law prompted the university to look at campus security overall and embark on a multiyear effort to improve it. The school relies on the Boise Police Department to handle serious campus incidents.

"As the city gets bigger and the campus gets bigger, and with this change, knowing that weapons are going to be allowed on parts of campus, does it make sense to turn (campus security) into a larger police force and ultimately armed security?" Hahn asked. "Certainly a piece of it had to do with the gun bill, but we've been hearing requests for more campus safety at all levels."

He said BSU would "figure out a way to absorb" the cost.

BSU's overall budget appropriation for the current year is $165.3 million, Idaho State nearly $129 million and University of Idaho $162 million. The College of Western Idaho and North Idaho College each received about $10.5 million.

ISU spokeswoman Adrienne King said in a statement that the outlays would cover additional safety measures across ISU's four campuses and provide for at least two officers on duty 24/7.

"ISU will continue to look for ways to improve our campus safety measures, including reallocating funds as possible for this campus priority," King said.

Otter spokesman John Hanian said the governor's 2016 budget did not cover the supplemental request for campus security expenditures because the schools placed it "last on their list" of priorities.

The matter got scant attention last week when the colleges presented their requests for the 2016 budget year that begins July 1 before the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee. It will not come up again unless a legislator requests it.

Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise, a JFAC member who voted against the concealed-carry bill last year, said the money could be better spent on educational needs.

"We try to make sure every penny is spent well on our priorities," King said. "This money could be used to pay, attract and retain professors."

©2015 The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

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They shouldn't spend for a non-problem. Stats have shown that people with concealed carry permits have not caused any increase in crime or violence. The universities are spending this money foolishly. I hope someone does a statistical follow up on the benefit or lack of benefit from this spending.
 

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They shouldn't spend for a non-problem. Stats have shown that people with concealed carry permits have not caused any increase in crime or violence. The universities are spending this money foolishly. I hope someone does a statistical follow up on the benefit or lack of benefit from this spending.
Thing is, when nothing happens, they will just pat themselves on the back and say, see money well spent, all of those state licensed psychotics didn't get a opportunity to do anything, we should up our measures for next year because clearly they are working
 

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Ok - lets get this straight? So they need to beef up security because: people who have been vetted by the State & the Feds, who are known to be law abiding citizens are following the law & taking responsibility for their own safety? This after decades of no legal carry policies on campus have proved to be USELESS in stopping violent crime on campus?

Seems to me that the geniuses running campuses in Idaho need to focus more on crime prevention and stopping criminals from entering their campuses vs worrying about lawfully armed citizens?

Only on a college campus would one find such ignorance.
 

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Typical waste of money, where not needed. Chicken little crying the sky is falling.
 
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Lets spend millions on more security when the law itself beefed up security worth well more than they could ever spend on security. Makes sense.
 

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Sounds to me like they should have beefed up security a long time ago.
 
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Probably the most secure campuses in the whole country.
 

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This seems to be more for show than for actual security. It's as if they're doing a non-protest protest.
 
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Typical Liberal, Progressive Academics over reacting to a non-issue. They forgot to budget enough for new underwear, since they will need to replace the ones they soiled when the folks got their Constitutional Rights restored. How can someone be so well-edumucated and be so abysmally stupid at the same time.
 
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I do not understand why the concern about LICENSED concealed carriers. They are NOT the threat. The REAL threat is from the bad guys who by nature IGNORE the law.
Lots of background-checked people are going to be coming here ready to protect themselves and probably others! Panic! :rolleyes:

From OP : CWI - $285,000 for "A" armed resource officer...WTF!!?

I'm moving to Idaho and staring a armed resource officer business!
Ever done cost estimates for a labor contract? There are lots of industries where the multiplier is 3 or 4 or more times the salary rate. So If you have a worker getting $50k per year, when you add in health insurance, 401K matching, training, vacation, and whatever other benefits/taxes/etc are involved, hiring a worker who gets $50k per year can easily cost a company $200k.

But yeah, $285k still sounds darn high. There are probably some insurance policies that are required for an armed officer that add to the costs, but still...
 

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For some of these expenses, it sounds as if they are for things the campuses should have had, and may well have been putting off acquiring anyway. The new law gives them a way to buy it AND use it for whining points.

For other expenses listed, it sounds a lot like over-reaction; responding with the, "we have to do SOMEthing," mentality, driven in no small part by fear of litigation -- if something goes down, they can be certain there will be lawyers picking over the remnants for an opportunity to sue the campus for not doing enough to be secure after the change.

And for some of the expenses listed, it sounds as if it's an opportunity to add control at the taxpayers' expenses, probably with the added benefit of being able to say, "Gee, we'd like to do XX, but look how much we had to spend for added security."

All of which, in typical liberal fashion, ignores the glaringly obvious point that the people who wanted to do harm weren't deterred by any previous restrictions, anyway.
 

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Actually, as was pointed out already, between the measures that they SHOULD have already had in place, the exorbitant costing of employees for budget purposes, and other less necessary proposals, they've actually spent less than $2 million.

While blaming the governor for under-funding their project, one has to wonder how many times in the past decades they've had added monies budgeted for "security" that were siphoned off to other adventures. Remember New Orleans redirected huge amounts of federal funds to repair levees into gambling boats? Same process, and one that Liberals, in their extreme hypocrisy, seem quite capable of considering "business-as-usual".

I do find it interesting that "education professionals", the same ones that the anti-gun groups rely upon for "research", are unable to document the issue of criminal activity and licensed concealed weapon carriers. There is more than enough hard data for them to use to produce meaningful reports, capable of peer review. If this is evidence of their competence in making such reports, they need to find a new line of work.
 

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Eh, $3.7 million for 5 universities to make accommodations is peanuts in the first place.

Second, according to the article it sounds like much of that money was going to be spent to beef up security that had long gone ignored despite increased enrollment.

And finally, some of it just sounds outright unnecessary; but using hot-button issues to secure additional funds for frivolous purchases and pet projects is a tried and true tactic in politics and government... sounds like schools may just be using the opportunity to obtain a few things they already wanted but that weren't funded in previous budgets.
 
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