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Reports on Northwestern Safety and Security

Northwestern has committed to a broad series of actions in pursuit of racial and social justice, including conducting an external review of University Police (UP). The results from the review will be publicly released in early 2021.

The University has an explicit responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all members of our community. Together, we can reimagine campus safety in the most equitable way possible. We pledge to engage our students, faculty, and staff in this process of listening, learning, and acting.

Department of Safety and Security Overview

This report gathers information about University Police and shares safety statistics covering the Evanston and Chicago campuses in a renewed effort to increase transparency and partnership.

Download the report

  • Section 1: Safety and Security and the Role of University Police – This overview describes the Department of Safety and Security (DSS), an umbrella unit responsible for police, security systems, emergency management, and transportation and parking. It provides additional information on the responsibilities of UP in particular.
  • Section 2: Campus Safety at Northwestern – The second section delineates the range of incidents UP responds to, from helping someone jumpstart their car to occasional but very serious threats to our campus safety, such as shootings and robberies involving firearms.
  • Section 3: Staffing and Partnerships – This section includes the UP staffing model and required officer training. It also outlines UP’s partnerships with other Northwestern offices and with external organizations to address safety more holistically.
  • Section 4: Financial Support for Safety – The final portion provides details and trends of both UP spending and staffing levels over time.

While this information will illuminate the details of police operations, this is only part of the process. Our work to ensure the safety of everyone at Northwestern continues to evolve and must bring a multitude of stakeholders into the process.

Community Safety Advisory Board

The newly established Community Safety Advisory Board consisting of students, faculty, and staff will be empowered to reimagine campus safety and to make recommendations to the president, provost, and senior vice president for business and finance.

Additional Reporting

The external review of UP’s community engagement and its operations is expected to conclude this winter with recommendations in a public report.

Over fifty stakeholder interviews with students, faculty, staff, and community partners have taken place as of this writing. Topics that will be covered in the external reviewers’ report will include the campus safety experience of Northwestern’s Black, marginalized, and most vulnerable community members; UP’s policies and practices such as the use of force; and the reporting and handling of complaints.

This report, and external reviewer recommendations, will be shared with the Northwestern community when it is complete.