Norwegian professor talks to Chicago Public Radio about country’s police
St. Olaf College Professor of Norwegian Margaret Hayford O’Leary recently spoke to Chicago Public Radio about new data on how Norwegian police use guns.
A report released by the Norwegian government shows that in 2014 the country’s police threatened to use their weapons 42 times, but only two shots were actually fired during the entire year. Nobody was killed or wounded in either incident.
Speaking to WBEZ’s Worldview program from Norway, where she is teaching at the Oslo International Summer School, O’Leary noted that only in recent months have Norwegian police even been allowed to carry guns while on patrol — a change that has been controversial.
“It just hasn’t been a tradition here in Norway,” O’Leary says. “There’s a high level of trust of police officers in this country, and I think many people feel that if they start carrying weapons, there would be more of a nervousness and a fear that something accidental would happen, that somebody would get hurt.”
O’Leary, the author of Culture and Customs of Norway, has taught at St. Olaf since 1977. She is currently teaching a course on Norwegian life and society at the Oslo International Summer School, a program that has had strong ties to St. Olaf for more than 65 years.