Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

Campus Safety  

Security awareness and crime prevention programs 

University Police attempt to prevent crimes from occurring rather than react to them after the fact. The goal of crime prevention is to eliminate or minimize criminal opportunities whenever possible and to encourage students, faculty, and staff to be responsible for both their own safety and the safety of others. During summer orientation sessions for new students, and periodically throughout the year, students and their parents are informed about the types of crimes that occur on campus and prevention resources offered by University Police. In 2021, University Police, McKinley Health Center, Women’s Resources Center, Alcohol and Other Drug Office, Housing Division and other campus organizations provided presentations/workshops on personal safety, sexual assault prevention, residence hall security, bike/pedestrian safety, and alcohol abuse prevention. Information about safety classes and other programming provided by University Police is listed on its website at police.illinois.edu/coast

Summary of safety presentations and programs in 2021 

Specific examples of crime prevention and awareness programs 

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University Police Department offer a number of opportunities for students, faculty and staff to learn more about campus safety and how they can look out for themselves and others. Additionally, the university maintains a number of resources, programs and initiatives to prevent crime on campus. For example: 

Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Presentations

The bicycle and pedestrian safety program focuses on proper fit for bikes, rules of the road and riding techniques for campus and the surrounding area as well as laws that pertain to pedestrians. 

De-escalating Communication

In this training on de-escalation communication, University Police provide front office staff with positive communication skills that will de-escalate situations that may not require police intervention. This is an important safety skill for all staff and students who work with the public. 

Office Safety and Security

Community Outreach And Support Team officers provide safety and security tips for your office or personal workspace. Learn how to avoid becoming a target of thieves and how to respond should you ever find yourself in an emergency situation. 

Residence Hall Security Program

University Housing and Community Outreach And Support Team officers visit residence halls to discuss safety procedures with students. Information covered includes the types of problems that can occur in residence halls, along with safety and security tips for residence hall living. 

New Student and Employee Orientations

The University Police provide safety and crime prevention information during summer registration sessions for incoming freshman. The program is also offered to any organization wishing to provide safety and crime prevention information to new employees and students. Specialized orientation sessions are held for units desiring a more in-depth view of safety on campus. 

Faculty-Staff Firearms Safety Program

The University Police Department wants its campus community members who choose to own firearms at home to do so safely. The Faculty-Staff Firearms Safety Program gives those community members a chance to learn from trained police officers how to safely handle, store and use firearms. 

Community Outreach and Support Team

University Police support a Community Outreach and Support Team with sworn staff holding an increased level of expertise and training. This unit supports the overall department’s efforts in crime prevention, including coordinating presentations and serving as a resource. The unit is also responsible for deploying Response, Evaluation and Crisis Help (REACH) social workers and Behavioral Health Detectives who respond to mental health-related emergencies and offer follow-up services. 

Emergency Phones

The university has an extensive network of blue emergency phones located in all campus buildings, parking garages and many bus shelters. They are also located on streets and walkways across campus in the familiar lighted emergency kiosks. The phones are connected directly to University Police and are monitored 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, including all holidays. The phones can be used to request help, report a crime in progress, report suspicious activities, request a SafeWalks escort, or for any other type of emergency. When the call button is pressed, the call will be answered by an on-duty staff member. They will ask the caller to explain the situation and will send the appropriate help. Locations of the exterior emergency phones are listed at go.illinois.edu/ephones

Lighting Committee

The Campus Lighting Committee is an important component of our efforts to provide a safe and secure environment, underscoring our commitment to the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and the public. The committee is responsible for determining areas where supplemental lighting will enhance security and safety, developing recommendations for the placement of lighting and emergency telephones, and studying the campus’ long-term needs related to upgraded security lighting policies and practices. 

Public Safety Advisory Committee

This committee was established to serve in an official advisory capacity at the university. The mission of the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) is to ensure that the Division of Public Safety remains responsive to the needs of the campus and local communities, and to provide the administration and the Executive Director of Public Safety with regular input on issues surrounding crime and fear abatement, law enforcement, public safety, and emergency preparedness. The role of the PSAC is advisory and consulting, and should enhance Public Safety’s community-oriented public safety philosophy. 

Administrative Clery Committee

This committee is comprised of representatives from the following university departments who meet to review the university’s Clery Act compliance efforts and make recommendations to the Clery Compliance Coordinator regarding the university’s Clery Act obligations: Division of Intercollegiate Athletics; Division of Public Safety; Facilities and Services; Housing Division; Illinois Human Resources; Illinois International; Office for Access and Equity; Student Conflict Resolution; Student Financial Aid; Dean of Students; Provost; Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Public Affairs; Title IX; Office of University Counsel; University Ethics and Compliance Office; and University Office of Capital Programs and Real Estate Services. 

Behavioral Intervention Team

The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) serves as the centralized body for discussion and action regarding students exhibiting aberrant, dangerous, or threatening behavior that might impact the safety or well-being of the campus community. The BIT, as outlined in the Campus Violence Prevention Plan, is founded on the principles of early intervention and proactive engagement to prevent violence and provide supportive services. Team members are committed to improving community safety through a proactive, collaborative, coordinated, objective, and thoughtful approach to violence prevention and supportive interventions. 

Threat Assessment Team

The Threat Assessment Team (TAT) collects and reviews reports of behavior exhibited by employees and other non-students who may pose a threat to the university community. The team then determines the most appropriate action to mitigate the threat. The TAT includes members from Faculty/Staff Assistance Services, Illinois Human Resources, the Office of Access and Equity, the Office of the Chancellor, the Office of the Dean of Students, the Office of the Provost, the Office of University Counsel (advisory only), and the University of Illinois Police Department.

SafeWalks

SafeWalks is a free walking escort service provided by trained Student Patrol officers for university students, faculty and staff so no one has to travel alone at night. By walking in groups, campus community members reduce their risk of being targeted by a criminal. SafeWalks can be requested by calling 217-333-1216. SafeWalks are available from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. every night, and until 3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

Personal safety tips 

  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, leave right away and go immediately to an area with lights and people; call police if something seems odd, as officers are happy to assist. 
  • Keep your doors locked, even if you are in the room. Do not allow people to follow you into secure locations. Request that a “tailgater” use his or her key or swipe card to gain entry. 
  • Report any unusual or suspicious activity you witness. Even the smallest bit of information could prevent a crime and help protect you or others. 
  • Use well-lit, high-traffic routes when walking around campus, especially at night. The shortest route isn’t always the safest. 
  • Do not walk alone at night. Use SafeWalks instead. 
  • Stay aware of your surroundings. Listening to music or using your phone can distract you from people or vehicles around you. 
  • Seek training in viable self-defense techniques. Do not allow the opportunity for a crime to occur — avoid placing yourself in environments in which it’s easier for criminals to commit a personal crime. 
  • If possible, let a friend or roommate know where and with whom you’ll be and when you’ll be back when you go out. 
  • Carry a whistle or a personal alarm to alert others if you need help. 
  • Lock your car doors and roll up the windows completely — even if you’re only parking for a moment. 
  • If you choose to drink, drink legally and responsibly. Your ability to respond is diminished by overconsumption of alcohol. 
  • Use crosswalks at all times and obey the signals at intersections when walking. Under Illinois law, as a pedestrian, you do not have the right of way until you establish yourself in the crosswalk. If you are crossing at any location other than a crosswalk, you must yield to vehicular traffic. 
  • When driving, be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists and yield to them when required by law. 
  • Update your contact information with Illini-Alert at emergency.illinois.edu to receive messages about critical safety issues on campus. 

Security of and access to campus facilities 

Most campus buildings and facilities are accessible to members of the campus community and visitors during normal hours of business – Monday through Friday, and for limited designated hours on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. Facilities are maintained, and their security monitored, in the interest of the campus. Many cultural and athletic events held in university facilities, such as the State Farm Center and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, are open to the public with the purchase of tickets. Other facilities such as the Illini Union Bookstore, libraries, and cafeterias are also open to the public. 

Access to academic and administrative facilities on campus generally is limited to students, employees, and visitors for the purpose of studying, working, teaching, and conducting other university business. However, the academic buildings are open and accessible during normal business hours and often into the evening hours for classes and meetings, and visitors can access the buildings during those hours. During the COVID-19 pandemic, building and facilities access may be restricted. Each academic building has established its hours based on the needs of specific academic departments. University Police provide random patrols of the non-residential facilities as time permits. All residential areas and exterior doors of university residence halls are locked 24-hours a day.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

University buildings are evaluated when they are first designed and on an ongoing basis to include thoughtful landscaping design, good lighting, security cameras, intrusion detection systems, door access control and other architectural and design features that can prevent crime.

There are currently more than 2,300 cameras on the campus security camera system. The majority of these cameras were funded by departments and units across campus. All of these cameras can be reviewed at the Division of Public Safety. The Division of Public Safety and Technology Services have expanded camera coverage into the greater Campustown area, especially focusing on areas such as the Green Street corridor and Sixth Street between Daniel Street and Green Street through a partnership with the city of Champaign. This model includes maintenance and replacement costs that can stand as a standard across campus. The university continues to work with the cities of Urbana and Champaign to strengthen its partnership through the sharing of these resources for a safer campus. Cameras are being installed in parking lots, parking structures and university quads on an ongoing basis. As campus emergency phones are replaced, they are being upgraded with a new model that includes security cameras. 

Maintenance of campus facilities 

Facilities and landscaping are maintained in a manner that minimizes hazardous conditions. University Police, Student Patrol officers and security guards regularly patrol the campus and report malfunctioning lights and other unsafe physical conditions to Facilities and Services for correction. Other members of the university community are helpful when they report equipment problems to University Police or to Facilities and Services. 

Crime notices and emergency notification 

An informed campus is a safer campus, which is why the university notifies the campus community of serious crime, emergencies and other public safety issues in a timely manner. 

Timely warning notices 

Timely warnings (named “Campus Safety Notices” at Illinois) are issued whenever a serious crime or series of crimes in locations covered by the Clery Act pose a continuing risk to students and employees. Campus Safety Notices may be issued for crimes required to be evaluated under the Clery Act. The decision to issue a Campus Safety Notice will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on when and where the incident occurred, when it was reported and the amount of information known by University Police. Such notices shall be provided to students and employees in a manner that is timely, that withholds the names of victims as confidential and that will aid in the prevention of similar occurrences. For example, if an assault occurs between two students who have a disagreement, there may be no ongoing threat to university community members and a Campus Safety Notice would not be distributed. Cases involving sexual assault are sometimes reported long after the incident occurred, thus there is no opportunity to distribute a “timely” warning notice to the community. The university is not required to issue a timely warning with respect to crimes reported to a pastoral or professional counselor. 

University Police may also post Community Safety Notices — at the discretion of the Chief of Police or designee — for non-Clery crimes occurring on Clery Act geography; at the request of another law enforcement agency for a serious crime or series of crimes which occur within a reasonable proximity of the core campus; or when appropriate to share public safety-related information where there may be investigatory value in releasing the information. The Chief of Police, Deputy Chief of Police, police lieutenants, communications director, and Clery compliance coordinator are authorized to create and disseminate Campus Safety Notices and Community Safety Notices. 

When issuing a Campus Safety Notice or Community Safety Notice, University Police send a mass email to all students, faculty and staff indicating a crime has occurred. In addition, the notice is posted on the Division of Public Safety website

Emergency notification procedure 

University Police officers and supervisors have received training in the Incident Command System and the National Incident Management System. When a serious incident occurs that represents an immediate threat to campus, the first responders to the scene are usually members of the University Police Department, Champaign Police Department, Urbana Police Department, Champaign Fire Department, Urbana Fire Department, Arrow Ambulance Service and/or Advanced Medical Transport of Central Illinois (AMT) Service. They typically respond and work together to manage the incident. Depending on the size, scale and seriousness of the incident, other university departments and other local or state or federal agencies could also be involved in responding. The local police and fire agencies work in cooperation and communicate with the university when situations reported to them may warrant an emergency response from the university. 

Emergency contacts 

Keep your emergency contact information updated to ensure we can find you or your loved ones in an emergency. Go to go.illinois.edu/helpme to update your address and emergency contacts with the university. 

Then register your contact information with Illini-Alert at emergency.illinois.edu to receive messages about critical safety issues on campus. 

If a situation arises that poses a verified, imminent or ongoing potential threat to the safety, security or health of students or employees, an Emergency Notification (named “Illini-Alert” at Illinois) will be issued to expedite emergency response and/or evacuation procedures. The goal of an emergency notification is to notify as many people as possible, as rapidly as possible, with adequate follow-up information as needed. Follow-up information will be available via use of the Illini-Alert emergency notification system (which employs text message, email, digital signs, and Twitter) on a case-by-case basis. Information critical to members of the larger community may be disseminated using additional mechanisms at the discretion of the Executive Director of Public Safety or designee. Additional mechanisms may include public media outlets, NOAA emergency alert radios, Comcast Cable channel 7 (UI-7), 217-265-UIPD and/or the telephone alert directory. Emergency notifications are issued for incidents such as an active threat, major hazardous materials release, major fire, extended power outage, infectious disease outbreak or a tornado that would directly impact campus. If an Emergency Notification is issued, the university is not required to issue a timely warning notice based on the same circumstances.

The university has implemented a formal process that gives the on-duty University Police shift commander, Executive Director of Public Safety, and/or designee the authority to do the following: 

  • Confirm a significant emergency or dangerous situation; 
  • Develop the content of the notification. 
  • Initiate some or all of the emergency notification systems to send an emergency message to the campus community. 

The process also stipulates that an immediate emergency notification will not be sent if, in the judgment of authorities, the message would compromise efforts to assist a victim, or to contain, respond to or otherwise mitigate the emergency. It also authorizes the on-duty University Police shift commander, Executive Director of Public Safety, and/or designee to create and initiate the emergency notification. The Executive Director of Public Safety and/or designee may also consult directly with Public Affairs to ensure an immediate notification to the campus via the emergency notification mechanisms described here. 

Mechanisms to disseminate an emergency notification include: 
  • Illini-Alert (text, email, digital signs, Twitter) 
  • Public media outlets (radio, television and web-based print sources) 
  • NOAA emergency alert radios (deliver an automated, recurring message to any NOAA weather radio programmed to receive alerts in Champaign County) 
  • UI-7 (a scrolling message board on cable TV channel 7) 
  • 217-265-UIPD (delivers an automated phone message to anyone who calls this number) 
  • Telephone alert system (a pyramid telephone call schedule to all or portions of the campus faculty, staff and students) 

Illini-Alert 

The emergency notification system, Illini-Alert, is used for incidents which present an imminent threat to life, health, or safety to the general campus population. These messages provide emergency information and instructions for personal protective actions. The mechanism used to send Illini-Alerts does not have the technological capability of segmenting emergency notifications for different populations. Therefore, all campus community members will receive an Illini-Alert in a campus emergency. 

All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to update contact information for the Illini-Alert emergency notification system by visiting emergency.illinois.edu.

For questions regarding the Illini-Alert service, please refer to go.illinois.edu/illinialert or contact the Technology Services Help Desk at 217-244-7000 and consult@illinois.edu. Individuals who are not affiliated with the university may sign up to receive Illini-Alert messages on their phones by texting “IlliniAlert” to 226787. 

Notification of a missing student 

If a member of the university community has reason to believe that a student is missing, he or she should immediately notify University Police at 217-333-1216. They will generate a missing person report and initiate an investigation. 

After investigating the missing person report, should University Police determine that the student is missing and has been missing for more than 24 hours, the university will notify the student’s missing person emergency contact no later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing. If the missing student is under the age of 18 and is not an emancipated individual, the university will also notify the student’s parent or legal guardian immediately after law enforcement has determined that the student has been missing for more than 24 hours. University Police will notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency or agencies within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing. 

In addition to registering an emergency contact, students have the option each year to identify confidentially an individual to be contacted by the university in the event the student is determined to be missing for more than 24 hours. To identify an emergency contact, visit apps.uillinois.edu/selfservice. After logging in, go to “Emergency Contacts” under the “Personal Information” tab. 

A student’s missing person contact information will be registered confidentially and will be accessible only to authorized University of Illinois System and law enforcement officials in the case of a missing person investigation. 

Note: Although the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 requires a system for allowing students residing in on-campus housing to identify a confidential contact if they are reported missing, the university has created a system where all students may register a confidential contact through the Office of the Registrar as noted above. This may also be completed on the Self-Service website at apps.uillinois.edu/selfservice. 

Visit the Student Code website for the full text of the Missing Student Notification policy.