NIU has long been recognized as being among the safest campuses among the state’s large public universities, and it is committed to providing a proactive and progressive campus safety program. This Q&A will answer many of the questions you may have about safety at NIU and how the university is working with students, residents and community leaders to continue to provide a safe learning environment.
Annual crime statistics — which we are required to track and report — are available on our website and demonstrate that crime on the NIU campus is comparable to other campuses across the state. NIU is a safe campus, but no community or college campus is completely immune to crime.
The statistics speak for themselves — whether considering Clery Act data posted on our website or the StateUniversity.com safety score — Northern Illinois University compares favorably among similarly-sized, four-year public institutions.
Rising from the cornfields in rural DeKalb County, the City of DeKalb balances small-town feel with city and suburban living. It is home to many responsible families, many of whom are NIU employees, as well as students who rent apartments. Like other communities that border a college campus, DeKalb is not immune to crime, but it is a safe community and is improving, according to statistics. A recent DeKalb Police report indicates most major crimes were at a 10-year low through 2010. The police report noted a drop in overall crime from 2009 to 2010.
Despite DeKalb’s low-to-average crime rates compared to other Illinois communities hosting a major public university, Northern Illinois University, the City of DeKalb and its residents continue to proactively evaluate and address potential safety issues.
The safety of NIU students is vitally important to the NIU community, as it is to parents and students themselves. Like any other college campus in this country, or any other community, young adults are free to move about on their own and explore their independence. The university has undertaken many safety measures on campus to provide an attentive, nurturing and supportive environment:
All of these investments in safety go towards building a safe campus community.
The NIU Police Department utilizes Community Policing to take a proactive approach in preventing crime. NIU officers interact with the NIU and DeKalb community through educational programs, foot patrols, vehicle patrols and bicycle patrols.
The NIU Police Department and DeKalb Police Department assist one another as necessary for cases on and off campus, sharing information, manpower and resources. For example, both departments actively patrol the Greek Row areas where many students live. By working together, they are able to reduce response times to calls, provide more resources, have more positive interactions with community members, and provide better services to the NIU and DeKalb communities. This cooperation benefits everyone in the NIU and DeKalb Community.
The NIU Police Department also works cooperatively with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Illinois State Police.
NIU Police patrol the campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week on foot, on bicycle and in patrol vehicles. Like municipal officers, they are in uniform but also are often present in “plain clothes” throughout campus and at special events.
The personal safety precautions that the university has established are comprehensive and extensive. During FY 2011 alone, NIU Police provided more than 80 courses on crime prevention and safety involving more than 1200 attendees.
Campus safety is not singularly the responsibility of the University Police. Nearly 4,000 faculty and staff spend long hours each day in buildings and facilities spread across our 800 acre campus teaching, serving, assisting, and interacting with our students. Consistent with our mission, student welfare is the responsibility of every employee.
Campus safety tips are posted online, and safety is messaged throughout the university community at the start of the year as well as during routine tests. In the event of an actual emergency, communication is provided to students and faculty via e-mail and SMS text messaging.
We cannot stress enough that members of the university community must take responsibility for the security of their person and their personal property. Steps to prevent the loss of property include carrying only small amounts of cash, never leaving valuables unattended, not lending keys to anyone, locking doors and windows to home or vehicles when leaving, not leaving valuables in plain view in vehicles or dorm rooms and reporting any suspicious activity to NIU Police immediately.
While there is a low incidence of crimes against persons at NIU, students and faculty can further assist in preventing crime by minimizing opportunities to become a victim, using good judgment and safety practices and by being responsible for their own and others’ security. Be aware of your surroundings and leave social functions that get too loud, too crowded, or that have too many people drinking excessively.
Emergency alerts are sent via text message to NIU Alert subscribers and posted to the NIU Home Page in the event of an actual imminent threat to the lives and safety of most of the campus community. Advisories are issued to notify subscribers of potential safety, criminal, health, or hazardous weather emergencies on or near campus where the threat is NOT immediate or life-threatening.
The university provides timely notification to the NIU community of potential and actual emergency situations and criminal activity. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to check NIU's Emergency Information page frequently for timely warnings and advisories. Additional means of notification include sirens and weather radios, broadcast voice mail messages, in-building public address announcements, Novell broadcast messages and via internet protocol television (IPTV).
|University Police Non-Emergency Number:||(815) 753-1212|
|Interpersonal Violence Response Team:||(815) 753-6102|
|Health Services:||(815) 753-1311|
|Counseling & Student Development:||(815) 753-1206|
|Employee Assistance Program:||(815) 753-9191|
|Human Resource Services:||(815) 753-6000|
|Huskie Student Patrol:||(815) 753-9658|
|Late-Night Ride Service:||(815) 753-2222|
|Building Services for utility outages:||
(815) 753-1147 from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(815) 753-1151 at other times
The Northern Illinois University Department of Police and Public Safety works hard to provide members of the NIU community with the information they need to help keep campus safe. As part of this commitment, and in compliance with the federal Clery Act, NIU publishes two reports annually, Safety and Security on Campus and the Fire Safety Report, which are found on the NIU website. Rrinted copies of the documents may also be furnished upon request.