Authority & Responsibilities

Authority

Under state law, University Police officers have the same enforcement powers and responsibilities as municipal police officers and county sheriffs. All University Police officers must graduate from a state-approved police academy and pass a comprehensive field and firearm-training program. Most officers and supervisors have a bachelor's degree and some have advanced degrees.

University Police maintains close working relationships with the Evanston and Chicago Police Departments. Officers have jurisdiction on city streets on and near campus.

Responsibilities 

University Police provides a full range of services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The department has the primary responsibility for crime prevention, law enforcement, parking control, emergency preparedness / response and security at special events. 

The University Police Department also houses the Office of Emergency Management, the Residential Security Program and Parking Services in Evanston

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Investigate reported criminal incidents and conduct follow-up investigations. File criminal charges and/or send referrals to Student Affairs as appropriate. An overview on the nature of police stops and individual rights is available in the Understanding Police Stops guide (pdf).
  • Patrol the campus and designated jurisdictional areas near campus on foot, mountain bikes, T3 mobile units and squad cars, and make routine security checks of campus buildings.
  • Operate the department's Communication Center which involves responding to calls for assistance, monitoring the University Blue Light Police Emergency Telephones and closed circuit camera alarm systems, and serving as an informational resource for members of the Northwestern community and the general public.
  • Maintain working relationships with the Evanston and Chicago Police Departments, the Illinois State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including joint investigation for major incidents.
  • Record officer activity for statistical analysis through the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. Calls for service are documented and evaluated to improve service.
See Special Services for a list of other University Police services and programs specific to a university community.