Regardless of what happens to a controversial plan to allow guns on Florida's 40 state college and public university campuses, college presidents say they want to take steps to make their campuses safer.
The Council of Presidents voted Thursday morning to ask the Legislature to fund a $74 million, three-year plan to beef up campus security and pay for training, other resources and equipment at the 28 colleges.
The request -- which wasn't previously part of the college system's budget request -- is $37 million (or 50 percent of the total) for 2016-17 and $18.5 million for each of the following two years.
The guns-on-campus bills moving in the Legislature brought to light the need to "recognize and offer alternatives -- through this investment -- to address the campus security problem short of arming our students," Michael Brawer, executive director of the Association of Florida Colleges, said during the council's conference call meeting Thursday morning.
"It’s what we think we have to do to minimize damages as it relates to the whole new world we live in and the potential for active shooters," agreed Carol Probstfeld, president of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota.