LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — Starting this fall, campus police officers at Franklin & Marshall College will be armed with handguns.

The private liberal-arts college of about 2,400 students in Lancaster announced the new policy Tuesday, one day after trustees approved it.

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College officials say the vote culminated a yearlong process of campus research, surveys and meetings in response to recent mass shootings around the country and the development of the campus police as a professional force.

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College spokeswoman Cass Cliatt says guns will be issued to the 19 sworn campus police officers and supervisors after they receive additional training and before classes resume in September.

Cliatt says the new policy will allow the officers to respond to threatening situations directly, instead of calling in local police as they do now.

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