UMass-Amherst police question public safety at Mount Ida

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) – Add police officers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to the list of people unhappy with the school’s $75 million purchase of the former Mount Ida College campus.

Unions representing both patrol officers and supervisors at UMass tell The Daily Hampshire Gazette they’re concerned about student safety because security at Mount Ida will be provided by private, unarmed security guards rather than trained police.

The purchase also came at a time when police staffing in Amherst is at a 20-year low.

The 74-acre Newton campus, about 90 miles from Amherst, will be used for students in Boston-area career preparation programs.

A UMass-Amherst spokeswoman says Mount Ida will have appropriate public safety in compliance with state and federal law this fall when 200 students and staff will be at the site.

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