VI-1 University Department of Public Safety
(Amended 9/93; 9/98; 1/10; 4/13; 10/16; 7/1/23)
Effective July 1, 2023, this policy has been revised. For the most current version without redlining, return to VI-1.
The University Department of Public Safety (DPS) operates 24 hours, seven days a week. Public Safety provides law enforcement by state certified peace officers and security services for University personnel and property. Additionally, DPS is responsible for the delivery of emergency communications for the University of Iowa campus. The Department of Public Safety actively promotes a safe and secure environment for all persons who come in contact with The University of Iowa, while supporting the University's goal to facilitate an atmosphere of quality education, research, and service. The Department of Public Safety maintains a well-trained and -equipped professional work force to respond to University needs. The department operates under the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations.
The University of Iowa Campus Safety organization operates 24 hours, seven days a week, and is committed to providing effective safety and security measures, personal safety planning, and support and care resources for individuals in distress. Campus Safety includes multiple departments that are focused on all facets of campus safety, including the UI Police Department, Security Services, the Department of Emergency Management, the Threat Assessment Team, Security Engineering Services, the Office of Clery Compliance, Emergency Communications, and Fire Safety. The organization fosters a safe, supportive, and inclusive campus environment by building partnerships, solving problems, and working collaboratively to reduce crime, preserve peace, and provide safety services equally to all members of the community. Campus Safety actively maintains a safe and secure environment for all persons who visit the university, while supporting the university’s goal to facilitate an atmosphere of quality education, research, and service. Campus Safety maintains a well-trained and -equipped professional work force to anticipate and respond to university needs. The organization is led by the Assistant Vice President for Campus Safety.
1.2 Special Duty
It is desirable and often necessary for
Public Campus Safety personnel — UI police officers as well as civilian security officers employed by DPS departments within Campus Safety — to be present during university educational, social, athletic, or other special events to provide security, crowd supervision, and traffic control. The Public Safety Department provides Campus Safety departments provide these services for any university department or organization upon receipt of a university requisition. The requisition must state the nature of the function, the estimated number of participants, and the hours required. Organizations using these services are urged to consult with the Department of Public Campus Safety staff in advance to determine how DPS they may best meet organizational needs.
1.3 Departments and Services
(Amended 10/16; 7/1/23)
The Department of Public Safety provides a number of campus services. Some of the most frequently used are: Fingerprinting service is provided for University personnel seeking citizenship papers, military commissions, passports, dental boards, government security clearances, and the like. Individuals in need of fingerprinting services are invited to contact DPS for available hours or go to the DPS website under FAQs. DPS employs a Threat Assessment Specialist who is dedicated to the early identification, assessment, and management of potentially dangerous incidents and behaviors which may threaten the safety of the University community. Nite Ride is a safe means of late-night transportation; details can be found on the DPS website. DPS will unlock offices for people who have locked their keys in their office. A person must have a picture ID for verification, and electronic records must confirm appropriate access. If verification is not possible, a person must contact their supervisor for access. DPS provides lost-and-found services located at DPS headquarters, 809 University Capitol Centre. UI Police offers two courses in Personal Safety and Self-Protection. Both courses are given upon group request and cover the principles of personal safety and self-protection with an emphasis on risk reduction for the University community. One course has a "disruptive persons" component and teaches de-escalation techniques for University employees. With regard to incidents involving sexual abuse, police officers are available to begin an investigation and to facilitate communications between the UI Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator, the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, other law enforcement agencies, and the Johnson County Attorney's Office. UI Police will not pursue a criminal case or contact anyone without the consent of the reporting party. Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) Training. The R.A.D. system, the largest women's self-defense program in the country, teaches risk education and self-defense techniques to women in the University community. UI Police offers a Violent Incident Survival Training (V.I.S.T.) class that teaches A.L.I.C.E. principles. A.L.I.C.E. stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. Taught throughout the United States, the A.L.I.C.E. course teaches individuals proven techniques and provides them with several options that are effective in avoiding, escaping and, if necessary, protecting intended victims from active shooters or other violent attacks on large numbers of people and increase the odds of survival.
The Campus Safety organization includes multiple departments that provide essential safety services. Departments and key services include:
- Police Department.
- The Police Department provides 24/7 law enforcement and emergency response services for campus. UI police officers are state sworn, and enforce state, local, and federal laws. They respond to all calls for service and investigate all criminal incidents that occur on university property.
- UI police officers provide a variety of free and low-cost training programs to the campus community including but not limited to self-defense and citizen response to active shooter events.
- Police officers will unlock offices for people who have locked their keys in their office. A person must have a picture ID for verification, and electronic records must confirm appropriate access. If verification is not possible, a person must contact their supervisor for access.
- With regard to incidents involving sexual abuse, police officers are available to begin an investigation and to facilitate communication between the Office of Institutional Equity, the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, other law enforcement agencies, and the Johnson County Attorney's Office. UI Police will not pursue a criminal case or contact anyone without the consent of the reporting party.
(See also the UI Police Department website).
- Security Services.
- Security Services employs both full-time security officers and part-time student security officers who conduct regular patrols of campus to deter crime and identify potential security threats. This work also includes building unlocks, fire watch patrols, student life compliance checks, and other campus safety needs.
- Security officers monitor security cameras and other safety systems used to detect suspicious or concerning behavior to respond to potential incidents proactively.
- Security Services operates several essential safety services including Nite Ride, which provides free late-night transportation to students, faculty, and staff; the Lost and Found headquarters; and Fingerprinting Services for university personnel seeking citizenship documentation, military commissions, passports, dental boards, government security clearances, etc.
- Department of Emergency Management.
- Emergency Management works to ensure the university can preserve its mission of teaching, research, and service when it is impacted by a major emergency or disaster by developing and implementing comprehensive emergency management plans and procedures that address potential hazards and threats to the university.
- Emergency Management works closely with other departments and stakeholders across the university to identify and mitigate risks, prepare for emergencies, respond to incidents, and recover from disasters. This may include developing emergency response plans, conducting training and drills, establishing communication systems, coordinating with external agencies, and providing support and resources to affected individuals and communities.
- Emergency Management also seeks to ensure the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff, visitors, and the surrounding community during emergency situations. By being proactive and prepared, the department helps minimize the impact of emergencies and disasters on the university and its stakeholders and facilitates a timely and effective recovery.
- Emergency Communications.
- Emergency Communications includes a team of emergency dispatchers who promptly respond to emergency calls and dispatch the appropriate personnel to the location. They are responsible for quickly assessing the situation, gathering critical information, and relaying it to the appropriate first responders such as police officers, firefighters, and medical personnel. Dispatchers also provide crucial support to those in distress by remaining on the line and providing instructions on how to stay safe until help arrives.
- This team also supports other campus operations including dispatching maintenance workers for facilities issues that occur after hours, monitoring campus alarms, issuing emergency notifications, and responding to Rave Guardian requests.
- Fire Safety.
- Fire Safety ensures the university community is well prepared to prevent and respond to fires, and that all fire safety regulations are being met. This work includes ensuring all campus buildings comply with state, local, and federal regulations and conducting fire safety inspections with state and local fire officials to identify potential fire hazards and ensure that fire safety equipment is in good working condition.
- Fire Safety also provides fire and life safety training courses to campus and assists departments across the university with formulating building-specific fire prevention and response plans.
- Fire Safety also coordinates the installation and maintenance of the campus Automated External Defibrillator (AED) system and Stop the Bleed kits.
- Threat Assessment Team.
- The Threat Assessment Team (TAT) supports campus safety by assessing, monitoring, and providing support for people exhibiting unusual distress, fixated grievances, or troubling behaviors.
- This multidisciplinary team includes people with backgrounds in human resources, student life, health care, and law enforcement. Their varied perspectives allow them to identify and monitor potential safety threats and intervene with supportive campus resources to maintain campus safety.
- Security Engineering Services.
- Building Access Control: Security Engineering Services Actively manages access to university buildings, ensuring that access is granted only to authorized personnel. This helps to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering restricted areas and potentially causing harm or damage.
- Alarm Monitoring: Security Engineering Services provides administrative oversight for campus alarm and intrusion detection systems. These systems are designed to detect unusual activity — such as break-ins, trespassing, fires, or other emergencies — so the appropriate Campus Safety employees can quickly respond to any potential threats and take appropriate action to prevent harm or damage.
- Security Camera Systems: Security Engineering Services provides administrative oversight for the appropriate use of security camera systems on campus. These cameras help to deter criminal activity and can provide valuable evidence in the event of a crime or safety incident.
- Office of Clery Compliance. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) is a federal law requiring all institutions of higher education participating in the federal student financial aid program report campus crime data, support victims of violence, and publicly outline the policies and procedures they have put into place to improve campus safety. The Office of Clery Compliance is responsible for coordinating Clery compliance efforts on campus.
(See also the
Department of Public Campus Safety website.)