Armed guards continue to keep ICC safe

By Alyssa Donovan

February 8, 2013 Updated Feb 8, 2013 at 11:00 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill.-- A miscommunication at Illinois Central College had some students concerned about their safety.

After a standard assessment meeting on campus security, some ICC faculty members were led to believe the armed guards would be removed from the downtown campus.

ICC student Hillary Carson says the guards are very important in making her and her classmates feel safe.

Carson says many students have the guards walk them to their cars after night classes and knowing that the guards have police training makes them feel safer about going to class.

"We don't have any protocol for getting in. Anyone can come into the building, you don't have to be a student [and] they don't check I.D.'s. So it's easy for someone to come in and do harm if they wanted to," said Carson.

ICC President and CEO John Erwin says the armed guards will not be removed. Erwin says a campus wide e-mail was sent out reassuring students of the schools concern for their safety but there still seems to be some confusion.

"I can understand anyone in this context, meaning nationally, where there are so many concerns. Especially in an active shooter situation, the best and most immediate first response is an armed officer," said Erwin.

Erwin says the school is transitioning the Downtown Peoria campus to the North campuses. He says as long as there are students and faculty at the downtown buildings, there will be armed guards to keep them safe.

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