PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Armed police officers will be on the University of Oregon campus when students return to Eugene in the fall.

The state Board of Higher Education voted unanimously Friday to allow officers with the newly formed University of Oregon Police Department to carry guns.

University president Mike Gottfredson said armed officers are needed to ensure the safety of students and employees.

University officers now carry batons, pepper spray and restraints, and call city of Eugene police if more powerful weapons are needed.

School officials say officers must have guns to confront an active shooter and to safely perform routine police tasks, such as conducting traffic stops and transporting suspects to jail.

The department has already purchased 20 Glock handguns.

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