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COVID-19 response: What you need to know

2020-2021

Year In Review

An informed campus is a safer campus.

Each year, the University of Illinois Police Department publishes this report of our activity over the previous school year so you have the information you need to protect yourself — and so you can push us to provide better service to our campus community.

2020-2021

Year In Review

An informed campus is a safer campus.

Each year, the University of Illinois Police Department publishes this report of our activity over the previous school year so you have the information you need to protect yourself — and so you can push us to provide better service to our campus community.


"The past school year was tough, no doubt. But we supported each other, and we kept each other safe."

— Chief Alice Cary

Message from Chief Alice Cary

The 2020-2021 school year was one of perseverance.

As the COVID-19 pandemic dragged on and many of our campus community members remained confined to their homes, one thing undeniably stood out: the strength of our campus community to remain steadfast in its commitment to excellence no matter the circumstances. Our students, faculty and staff exemplified why the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is one of the most well-respected institutions in the world. Although the conditions were difficult, our campus community not only endured a tough school year – we surpassed expectations. And most importantly, our campus was a safe place to be in the midst of a global pandemic.

In that same vein, the University of Illinois Police Department continued to advance itself as a world-class leader in campus policing. We remain committed to the principles of 21st Century Policing. We made great strides this past year with the introduction of our Community Outreach and Support Team, our Response, Evaluation and Crisis Help initiative, and our therapy K9s. Heading into the 2021-2022 school year, these innovations leave us better positioned than ever before to engage our community in supportive programming, to listen to their needs and concerns, and to provide a higher quality of public service.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus remains a very safe place where our campus community members can focus on their academic, research, and social activities. Our calls for service dropped dramatically during the previous school year – largely a result of more people staying home, but continuing a now four-year trend of fewer incidents in which our officers were called on to address safety-related issues.

Gun violence was an issue across the nation, and the off-campus Champaign-Urbana community was no exception. However, our proactive patrol techniques prevented those incidents from directly impacting our campus. Nevertheless, we know that we are not immune to these issues, and we are taking even more steps to prevent violent incidents in the campus area during the 2021-2022 school year.

The past school year was tough, no doubt. But we supported each other, and we kept each other safe. Our promise to you during the next school year is to continue to enhance our service in a way that is responsive to the expectations of our community.

We look forward to having you back on campus this year – more than we ever have before.

Sincerely,

Alice Cary
Chief of Police and Executive Director of Public Safety

 

"We are committed to the constitutional idea of justice where every person is treated with dignity and fairness."

— UIPD Values Statement

Beginnings

Staff and sworn personnel of the University of Illinois Police Department work hard every day to make our campus community a safer place to live work, and study for all students, staff, faculty and visitors. Those who work at the Division of Public Safety ingrain our three core values — justice, respect and integrity — into everything they do.

We are committed to the constitutional idea of justice where every person is treated with dignity and fairness. We value human life and safety, and we strive to be examples of candor, honesty and ethical behavior. We work hard to protect you and to help all of our students, faculty and staff thrive. Our foremost priority is and always will be the safety of our campus community members and visitors.

We extend a warm welcome to those who have joined the committed staff of the Division of Public Safety in the past year.
 

Officer Steven Cole

Officer Steven Cole
 
Officer Shaniece Cooper

Officer Shaniece Cooper
 
Officer Matthew Rogowitz

Officer Matthew Rogowitz
 
Officer Matthew Seaver

Officer Matthew Seaver
 
Crisis Outreach Coord. Megan Cambron

Crisis Outreach Coordinator Megan Cambron
Social Worker Amanda Brockway

Social Worker Amanda Brockway
 
Director of Community Development and Engagement Dementro Powell

Dir. Comm. Development & Engagement Dementro Powell
Chief of Staff Rod Wyatt

Chief of Staff Rod Wyatt
 
David Coffey

David Coffey
 
Security Officer Jacob Landreth

Security Officer Jacob Landreth
 
Security Officer Jeremiah Medlyn

Security Officer Jeremiah Medlyn
 


We have a very safe campus, but no community will ever be entirely crime-free.

Crime statistics

We have a very safe campus, but no community will ever be entirely crime-free.

Crime in the campus area has neither increased nor has it declined substantially in recent years. The 2020-2021 academic year is an anomaly as many students remained off campus and community members stayed at home. Still, there are some key points to highlight:

  • Theft is and likely will always be the most common crime on campus. It’s also easily preventable. Remember to lock your personal belongings at all times, and never leave valuables unattended in public.
  • Violence against women continues to be an elevated issue on college campuses across the country, and ours is no exception. There are resources available for anyone who has experienced this kind of violence or who wants to support someone who has.
  • Bicycle and pedestrian safety is a priority, but vehicles continue to be the most common source of traffic violations. UIPD issued no bicycle and pedestrian tickets for the entire 2020-2021 school year, whereas vehicles accounted for several hundred.
  • We continue to make use of the student disciplinary system — not the legal system — for alcohol violations. UIPD took enforcement action in only four alcohol-related incidents during the past school year, and all of those involved the illegal transportation of liquor in a vehicle. In three of those four, the driver was also arrested for driving under the influence. We believe that more minor issues like underage drinking and public possession of alcohol are better addressed through the school and not in court.

An important note about these crime statistics: This is a separate set of statistics from what can be found in our Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. There are two important reasons why these numbers appear different: (1) these statistics are presented for the previous school year (July 2020 through June 2021), whereas the Clery crime statistics follow the calendar year, and (2) federal disclosure mandates in the Clery Act require us to track and count Clery crime statistics differently than our own crime statistics, whereas the below statistics are simply a representation of all calls throughout the year to which UIPD responded.


 

We are transparent with crime data so you have the information you need to stay safe.


How Illinois Compares

We surveyed our peer institutions to see how our campus stacks up in terms of safety — and we are providing you with the data so you have the information you need to keep yourself and others safe.

Note that this is Clery data from the calendar year 2020 — the most recent available for all schools. The Clery Act requires all schools to have data for the previous calendar year published by Oct. 1.

Learn more about these statistics or download the data.


About the statistics

The statistics are tracked in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Statistics Act. Please note that comparable schools’ statistics are provided only to put the numbers into context — each school may have circumstances unique to its campus that drives certain statistics up or down. The numbers should be reviewed as a group and not as a comparison between individual schools. For more information, please review the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.
 

Systemic inequities permeate our society, and those inequities are reflected in police arrest data everywhere.

Arrest Demographics

In the interest of transparency, University Police are providing aggregate statistics on the demographics of people arrested and ticketed so that our community members have more information about policing in the Champaign-Urbana community.

In reviewing these statistics, we ask our community members to consider the societal factors which may drive these statistics in one direction or the other. We acknowledge our role in this, and we are always striving to improve our philosophies, training regimens and recruiting efforts to promote equity in our policing strategies. However, systemic inequities permeate our society, and those inequities are reflected in data like these all over the country.

In fact, we present these statistics to put a spotlight on those systemic inequalities.

Every arrest we make is because our officers have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed — race alone is never a reason to stop someone, as it violates UIPD policy and an individual’s civil and constitutional rights. These statistics are influenced in part by factors that have nothing to do with law enforcement — including but not limited to housing opportunity, income equality, employment, and access to mental health resources. These systemic inequalities have consequences for our communities — and for decades, our society has burdened law enforcement with addressing a large portion of those issues.

Addressing these issues must instead be a community effort, and we hope you can join us in that effort.

You can also access a spreadsheet with more data →

UIPD arrests and tickets by race (July 2020 through June 2021)


 

Public Safety staff complete thousands of hours of training every year to ensure we provide competent, professional public service.

Training

UIPD officers and Public Safety staff are required to complete training in many categories — and mental health awareness, implicit bias, cultural competency and other topics are among them.

University Police officers alone completed nearly 9,000 hours of training in 283 separate topics during the last school year — an average of about 138 hours of training per officer in a single year. Many of those are state- or department-mandated. Others are to enhance an officer’s expertise in a particular subject in order to provide specialized skills and resources for our community.

Non-sworn Public Safety employees — including security officers, Student Patrol, telecommunicators, emergency management staff, Clery compliance, business office staff and others — were busy training as well. Non-sworn staff completed almost 800 hours of training in 203 separate topics.

Listed below is all the training and employee development completed between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. Each row represents an individual who attended a class or took a course.

Police officers

Non-sworn Public Safety staff



We work hard to keep the community safe while being responsible custodians of public resources.

Our budget

The University of Illinois Police Department works hard to keep the community safe while being responsible custodians of public resources.

From July 2020 to June 2021, the total Division of Public Safety budget was about $8.66 million. Here’s how we spent that money:


 

The calls for change have been very clear, and they’ve been heard very loudly.

— Chief Alice Cary

Our work

Everything we do is in response to feedback from the community. Here are just a couple of the ways we changed the way we do things during the 2020-2021 school year.

Community Engagement and REACH

During the 2020-2021 school year, listening to that feedback and responding to it was driven largely by our new Community Outreach and Support Team. Along with crime prevention programming, education and outreach, COAST is also tasked with oversight for the Response, Evaluation and Crisis Response (REACH) initiative. REACH is an innovative model which pairs social workers with specially-trained police officers to provide better on-scene clinical assessment in mental health emergencies. The REACH co-responder model allows officers to keep the community safe while, at the same time, taking a step back in a mental health crisis and allowing a social worker take the lead.
 

REACH, which was one of Chief Alice Cary’s first programming initiatives upon taking leadership of the University Police in July 2020, saw the addition of two social workers, Megan Cambron and Amanda Brockway, with plans to hire more. Additionally, University Police hired Dementro Powell as the department’s first ever Director of Community Development and Engagement.

Therapy K9s

Another big feature of COAST: Therapy K9s. The department brought on four comfort dogs during the 2020-2021 school year, including Cary’s own Archie, to assist with outreach efforts and to provide some degree of stress and anxiety relief for campus community members. Aside from Archie, K9s Lollipop, Rosie and Winston were added during the school year after officers and their dogs went through training provided by the Brevard County (Florida) Sheriff’s Department’s Paws and Stripes College.
 

 

Resources

To report a crime, ask a question or make a suggestion, you can contact us at any time:

University of Illinois Police Department
1110 W. Springfield Ave. Urbana, IL 61801
Emergency: 911
Non-emergency: 217-333-1216
police.illinois.edu
police@illinois.edu

Visit us on social media to stay informed about public safety issues on campus:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Reddit

Walk in groups. Call between 9 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. throughout the year for a walking escort from SafeWalks:
217-333-1216

Sign up for emergency text message notifications:
police.illinois.edu/safe

Information about sexual misconduct response, prevention and reporting options:
wecare.illinois.edu

Visit the Counseling Center to learn more about resources available at the university:
counselingcenter.illinois.edu

Register your bicycle to protect it from thieves:
go.illinois.edu/mybike

Learn more about what you can do to keep yourself safe on campus:
police.illinois.edu/safety