Update on Security Practices and Policies

To: Members of the University of Chicago Community (other audiences as needed)
From: Eric Heath, Associate Vice President for Safety & Security
Subject: Update on Security Practices and Policies
Date: August 29, 2019

The University’s Department of Safety and Security and the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) continually work to improve safety on campus and in neighboring communities, and to ensure transparency of police activities and policies.

Some of the steps in the last year include:

  • Creation of opt-in communications with expanded information about safety in the entire UCPD patrol area – UCPD Crime Notices and the Daily Crime Bulletin. These services complement our campus-wide Security Alerts, which focus on notifications related to on-campus crime as required by law. Click here for more information on options for receiving safety information.
  • Rollout of the UChicago Safe mobile app, which provides easy access to safety resources and information, including the ability to make an emergency call and send UCPD your location. The app now has more than 5,700 users. Click here to download the app for iPhone or Android users.
  • Accreditation of UCPD by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Agencies (IACLEA), in addition to UCPD’s ongoing accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), due to the department’s commitment to and achievement of the highest level of professional standards for campus public safety.

As part of our commitment to maintaining safety, in the coming days UCPD will begin to equip officers with Tasers, with restrictive policies governing any potential use. The policies pertaining to Tasers, along with the rest of the UCPD’s general orders, are available here.

A large number of law enforcement agencies nationwide have equipped officers with Tasers, including multiple college and university law enforcement departments. We have learned from their experiences, particularly the development of policies designed to increase safety while minimizing risk. Adding this equipment will also provide greater consistency with practices of the Chicago Police Department, which is the primary law enforcement agency within UCPD’s off-campus patrol area, where UCPD serves in a supporting role.

You can find more information on UCPD’s implementation of Tasers, including detailed information regarding UCPD training here.