LETTER:DPS without any defense is dangerous

Mike Arkovich

I am writing this letter to hopefully shed some light on the debate about the ISU DPS carrying any means of defense besides the current batons and mace. I am the son of a police officer and the cousin of three other officers. I would never want any of my family members going to work without a way to defend themselves if they were to encounter a dangerous situation.

Granted, Ames and Iowa State are very safe places to be, but there is always the possibility of a dangerous situation occurring. Some of the most frequent and most dangerous situations any officer encounters are traffic stops and domestic abuse calls. These situations can be very volatile and extremely dangerous for the officer.

If someone were to pull a knife or a gun on an officer and they did not have any means of defense besides mace or a baton, they might as well be considered injured, if not dead.

I thought Max Wortman’s vote against arming DPS with tasers was not a vote based on police, student and faculty safety. As a student, I know I would feel much better about my safety knowing that ISU had a police force that was technologically capable of ensuring my safety. Wortman said that he was concerned about the effects that tasers might have on children, the elderly and pregnant women.

This is a very true statement, but if anyone in any of these categories were to pose a threat to an officer or the public that required some kind of reactive force, it would be a consequence they would have to face. Mace can also be damaging to the eyes and respiratory system. But mace can only subdue an individual for a very short period of time and the officer has to be extremely close to someone to use it. This would not work if a person had a gun or a knife that was posing a threat to the officer or the public.

The tasers are only aimed at one person, and have a very low possibility of missing the target after the officer receives training in their use. The DPS officers are sent to the same police academy as the Ames Police officers and receive the same training. We trust our Ames police officers with weapons, why shouldn’t we do the same for DPS?

How can Wortman expect the ISU DPS to protect the ISU community and themselves if he does not think that they should even have batons, let alone guns or tasers? Obviously, he has no knowledge of officer safety and what it is like to have family members as officers. I am sure that the families of these officers would agree.

Mike Arkovich


Sport management