When school shootings in the Pacific Northwest dominated the headlines last spring, alarms were going off for those who work at Clark College.
In June, one person died and two others were injured at a shooting at Seattle Pacific University. Just a few days later, tragedy struck a little closer to home when a teenager armed with a gun opened fire at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Ore., killing a 14-year-old boy and wounding a teacher.
“I don’t want to just completely ignore it,” Clark College President Bob Knight said. “The likelihood of a school shooting is remote, but maybe it’s our turn and I don’t want to have not done anything.”
The college’s board of trustees asked Knight to look into the possibility of having police on campus and Knight started the conversation.
Clark College can’t follow the trend of universities forming their own police force, such as Washington State University Vancouver, because it isn’t allowed to under Washington state law.