Bakersfield College hires armed officer as a campus security measure

Logan King, Reporter

Many college campuses across the U.S. have hired armed security officers, including Bakersfield College. In addition to hiring the officer, Bakersfield College offered an active shooter response training in the Levan Center on March 4th. 

Due to the increase in active shooter cases across the nation, many institutions have begun to re-address their security and response protocol. One-way BC intends to increase security is by hiring its first armed security officer. 

The response training was presented by Head of Security at BC Christopher Counts and Professor Brent Burton. Counts used the opportunity to explain the rationale behind having an armed officer present on campus. Offering an overview of active shooter situations from the past 10 years, Counts illustrated a trend. Most active shooter situations end in the shooter committing suicide. “After being confronted by an armed officer…armed officers are there to seek and neutralize a threat in whatever situation they need to” Counts said.

Counts asserted that having an armed officer present on campus can provide a means of ending an active shooter situation before it escalates to the point of catastrophe. Furthermore, a key feature of limiting casualties in an active shooter situation is response training. 

The presentation covered a variety of response options from the assumed run and hide tactic to running an offense. One key move Counts reinforced was to get behind a locked door. 

According to Counts, the probability of survival increases exponentially when you get behind a locked door. “Active shooters are not breaching doors,” Counts explained. He argued that active shooters are there to inflict as much damage as possible in a short amount of time, therefore a locked door is a waste of time to most.

Making sure to be clear on his distinction, Counts explained multiple times the difference between targeted shootings and active shooter scenarios. A targeted shooting is controlled and executed most often with precision. Whereas an active shooter executes their crime with the intention of killing the most in the shortest time possible. That time is often dictated by the response time of police.

The main argument offered by BC security is that armed officers can reduce the likelihood of active shooter scenarios. 

Following the premises of Counts argument, there is some validity to reaching that conclusion.

Yes, many active shooters have ceased action after being confronted by an armed officer. Yes, active shooters do make risk assessments that determine their plan of attack. However, the claim that an armed officer is a necessary security measure doesn’t follow from necessity. 

There is contention across the nation as to whether armed officers should be allowed on college campuses. That contention doesn’t seem to be a worry for BC because they are hiring an officer that will be present on our campus in the near future. 

Logan King
Professor Brent Burton demonstrates how to apply a tourniquet.
Logan King
BC Professor Brent Burton explains where to administer a tourniquet during the active shooter training a session on March 4.