University of Chicago provides more online information on police activities

Following up on a commitment made in April to share additional information on police activities, the University of Chicago has updated its Safety and Security website with a range of new information, including a daily report on all traffic stops and field interviews by University of Chicago Police Department officers.

The website also offers easier access to law enforcement information that is already public, and provides additional background information about how the department fulfills its duties. These measures are part of the University’s commitment to enhance transparency of the activities of the UCPD.

The information on traffic stops and field contacts includes the date, time, location, reason for the stop, disposition, whether a search was conducted, and the race and gender of the person stopped. In addition, the UCPD will provide upon request arrest record information for arrests made by UCPD officers. The UCPD will soon post more information on how to submit requests for arrest records.

“This additional information is in direct response to input we have heard from a number of stakeholders, including community residents, public officials and campus groups,” said Derek Douglas, vice president for civic engagement. “We appreciate that input and remain open to hearing about other ways we can increase transparency around safety and security issues.”

In addition to the new online resources, the UCPD is expanding outreach efforts in order to strengthen relationships with the University community and the residents the department serves. The University has announced it will establish a UCPD Community Advisory Committee to serve as a vital line of communications between the UCPD and residents in the department’s patrol area. The University is currently working in consultation with local aldermen and community leaders to select the initial members of this committee.

The department also is developing ways to encourage beneficial interactions between officers and local residents. Earlier this month, UCPD launched Popcorn with the Police, a new initiative that fosters conversations and greater understanding among police officers and members of the University community. In addition, the UCPD has begun routinely assigning an officer to staff a table on Fridays at the Reynolds Club on campus. This presence has helped create a dialogue with students, faculty and staff in an informal setting.

“We have made great strides in our outreach efforts and continue to look for opportunities to advance this priority,” said Marlon C. Lynch, associate vice president for safety, security and civic affairs, and chief of police.

The UCPD is a professionally trained police department with approximately 100 state-certified officers, accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

For more information on services provided by the UCPD, please visit the Department of Safety & Security website.