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Safety & Security Operations Review

Our Commitment:

On June 14, 2020, we committed to reviewing the Department of Safety & Security, including operations of Northwestern’s police department (NUPD), to ensure that all of our students, faculty, and staff are safe and protected. We promised to reexamine all of NUPD’s approaches and functions, including its use of force policy, in particular relating to reporting protocol and impartial third-party review; its bias-free policing policy, to improve accountability; and law enforcement professionalism standards. We committed to supplement and reinforce annual training on de-escalation and responses to individuals in crisis.

Report and Recommendations

In August 2020, Northwestern retained two external consultants to conduct a review of Northwestern University’s Department of Safety & Security.

The external review has been completed and is now available to the public. Included in the consultant's report are recommendations to improve public safety and inclusion. Learn more about the consultants' review process and recommendations. 

Winter Quarter 2021 Update

Community Safety Advisory Board to Review Recommendations on Public Safety

The Community Safety Advisory Board (CSAB) have begun discussing the recommendations that resulted from the external review of the Department of Safety and Security. The Community Safety Advisory Board’s evaluation of these recommendations will help to inform the steps the University will take to build a more inclusive, supportive, and just vision of public safety. View the Actions Progress and Updates page for regular updates from the Community Safety Advisory Board.

Safety & Security External Review and Recommendations Released

A report with the findings and recommendations from the independent review of the Department of Safety & Security was released in March 2021. This joint report includes the findings from the separate reviews on community engagement and the campus safety operations on the Evanston and Chicago campus. Following our commitment to transparency and accountability, the full report and recommendations is now available for community review. This recommendations in this report are under active consideration of the Community Safety Advisory Board and University leadership and will be used to improve campus safety and inclusion efforts.

Fall Quarter 2020 Update

External Review

The University engaged two external consultants to review NUPD policies, operations, and community engagement. The consultants completed more than 50 interviews with senior leadership, student organizations (graduate and undergraduate), and NUPD internal and external stakeholders/partners on the Evanston and Chicago campuses. The external review process is expected to conclude this winter with recommendations to be provided in a public report.

Comprehensive Department of Safety & Security Report

A comprehensive report, published on Nov. 16, outlined the roles of the Department of Safety and Security and NUPD. The document has several detailed sections on campus safety at Northwestern, including reported incidents, jurisdiction, police staffing and community service officer training, officer demographics, internal and external partnerships, and an extensive 11-year budget overview.

Read highlights or the complete report by visiting the University Police website.