Off-duty cops bring books, guns to Montclair State

In light of recent events involving college students with guns, campus police at Montclair State University say they feel lucky to have students who are also off-duty police officers.

Many college campuses throughout the country have early warning systems for students through text messaging and cell phone alerts. Campus security often relies on those messages to get through to students in emergencies. However, campus security at Montclair State says it has another safety measure in place.

Montclair State University Police Chief Paul Cell says off-duty officers who are students at the school are welcome to bring their guns to class. Cell says he doesn?t know how many of the more than 16,000 students are sworn police officers, but he considers them to be assets to his department?s efforts to keep students safe.

Many police officers say having the off-duty cops in classrooms can be a real asset in a campus crisis. Cell agrees, though he says there are too many variables to include these students in security plans.

Off-duty police officers are required to get written permission from Cell to carry their weapons. Cell says this is so professors know there may be a concealed weapon in class.

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