Message from Chief Alice Cary
It’s easy to focus on the challenges as we embark on another school year. Given the difficulties of the pandemic years, some of us may find ourselves focusing on the obstacles in our way.
Instead, let’s focus on the path forward. We’ve confronted recent challenges and have found solutions. We have solved problems. We have built new relationships. And we are more resilient today because of that.
We’ve accomplished a lot. Although incidents of gun violence continue to impact the greater Champaign-Urbana community, the steps we have taken to mitigate it show progress. During the first half of 2022, incidents of gun violence across the city of Champaign were cut nearly in half. That is thanks to the good work of our partners at the Champaign Police Department, and our work on campus has prevented an innumerable number of incidents from ever occurring.
Here is just a sampling of the specific actions we have taken to keep our campus area safe:
- The University of Illinois Police Department has committed additional officers on overtime details to increase patrols in the Campustown area.
- The university has installed more security cameras in the Campustown area to help deter crime and identify offenders. These camera recordings have been helpful in several police investigations in the short time they have been active.
- Automated license plate readers have been installed both on-campus and throughout Champaign. This technology has aided officers in identifying and locating suspect vehicles following incidents of concern.
- Our multijurisdictional Street Crimes Task Force continues to focus on issues of gun violence in our community and has been responsible for taking dozens of illegally possessed firearms off the street in Champaign-Urbana.
- The university is coordinating a $300,000 investment to fight gun violence locally. This is in addition to supplemental investment in the UIPD to increase its patrol presence and visibility.
- The UIPD Community Outreach and Support Team has increased direct engagement with the community and provide information, tools, and resources to look out for themselves, and so they feel confident working with police in the event of an emergency.
Now we have a big opportunity ahead. In fall 2022, the University of Illinois Police Department will take primary responsibility for patrolling the Campustown area as a result of an agreement with the Champaign Police Department. This will allow UIPD to direct resources in that area and better respond to calls for service, while also strengthening a long-established bond with our partners at CPD. To prepare for this change, seven additional UIPD officers have been added to our ranks to staff this expanded role.
The mission of the University of Illinois Police Department is to maintain a safe and secure campus environment where education, research and public service can flourish. This school year, we are in maybe a better position than ever to do that.
Chief of Police and Executive Director of Public Safety