CCRI Considers Arming Campus Police, Concerns About “White Supremacy Arising”

Monday, March 27, 2017


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The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) is considering arming its campus police -- and is concerned with the issue of "increased white supremacy," which was raised at a recent college meeting.

The college Governance Council's Health & Safety Committee addressed both areas, according to meeting minutes from February 17, obtained by

"Threat assessment is not tracking any active cases at this time. However, they are receiving many calls of increased hostility and intolerance. There have also been issues of white supremacy arising. This will be discussed further at the next Health and Safety Committee Meeting," stated the meeting minutes, under the standing agenda item of "Threat Assessment, Public Safety/Security, Facilities, and Health:"

Public relations officials at CCRI did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday if the college is concerned about national trends related to "white supremacy" -- or specific issues on campus. The Health and Safety Committee is comprised of representatives from the CCRI administration, faculty, public safety, and student body. 

A map from the Anti-Defamation League shows incidents at colleges throughout the country during 2017, none of which are reported in Rhode Island.  (Recent threats have been made however to the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Community Day School in Providence). 

At the meeting, the prospect of arming police officers at CCRI was also discussed. MORE BELOW MAP

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Arming Campus Police

The meetings minutes also reflect that the college is considering arming its campus police officers. 

Under "Discussion - Arming Campus Police," the following notes were included in the meeting minutes:

"Bill Ferland attended the meeting to discuss the arming of campus police. He indicated that the President will be holding town hall style meetings. to receive feedback from the campus community. He discussed some national statistics on the topic and how it can be a deterrent."

The issue was in the spotlight in Rhode Island when the University of Rhode Island announced it was arming its campus police in 2015

"Possibly arming campus police, coupled with active surveillance cameras and tracking swipe cards, would create the culture change this new administration longs for. Sadly for the 'people's' college, it will be a culture of fear," said CCRI English Professor Steve Forleo, who is the faculty advisor at The Unfiltered Lens. 

"CCRI is such a beautiful place to teach. Virtually zero crime (Clery statistics), fun, friendly, engaging students," said Forleo. "A true community. Since last year, I've seen less and less community college and more and more corporate college."

In February 2016, GoLocal wrote, "Current, Former CCRI Faculty Critical of New Leadership, Direction."

Steve Forleo, who is currently a professor of English at CCRI and is adviser to the student-run college paper, recently penned a Guest MINDSETTER™ piece for GoLocal entitled “CCRI About to Undergo Political Takeover.”

“It's no secret this shift is politically driven. We have a venture capitalist governor intent on transforming the founding vision of Dr. William Flanagan's "people's" college, (where student-learners came to pursue life-long learning through a broad array of course studies as well as training the region's workforce) into a business led manufacturing hub. Students are referred to as customers, moving through the assembly line one-size-fits-all model,” said Forleo. “To me, it's all about fabricating political capital for seeking higher office.”

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