Frequently Asked Questions - NIU - Department of Police and Public Safety
faq

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where is the Department of Public Safety?
  2. What are your hours of operation?
  3. How safe is our campus?
  4. What is the purpose of the blue lights on telephones throughout campus?
  5. Is the NIU Department of Public Safety a "real" police department?
  6. If I am arrested by the NIU Department of Public Safety, do I automatically have a police record?
  7. Can I ride along in a university police car?

1. Where is the Department of Public Safety?

We are located in the Telephone Security Building next to University Health Services. There is parking in front of the building.


2. What are your hours of operation?

We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.


3. How safe is our campus?

The DeKalb campus is the size of a city with a population of 27,000 and may be larger than your hometown. The campus is as safe as a city with 27,000 people living in it during our school year. It has the same kind of crimes found in cities with a similar population. The biggest reported crime problems are thefts from rooms, bicycle thefts, thefts from vehicles, offices, etc. The campus also has occurrences of serious incidents - sexual assaults, aggravated batteries, aggravated assaults, drug and alcohol incidents, auto thefts, and criminal damage.

Remember, crime has no boundaries. Therefore, crimes can occur at any time and any place. Your job is to always be alert and be aware of your surroundings. If you think something is suspicious or wrong, go to the nearest telephone and call 911. This is a direct line to the Department of Public Safety. Use good judgment whenever you walk, drive, or bicycle around campus.


4. What is the purpose of the blue lights on telephones throughout campus?

The blue lights on the telephones throughout campus identify your location and these telephones connect you with a police telecommunicator.


5. Is the NIU Department of Public Safety a "real" police department?

Yes. The Northern Illinois University Department of Public Safety is a State of Illinois licensed law enforcement agency with full police powers. We are entrusted with all of the same duties, responsibilities and powers as any other police force in the state.


6. If I am arrested by the NIU Department of Public Safety, do I automatically have a police record?

Not necessarily. The NIU Department of Public Safety can, in instances involving lesser infractions, choose to refer cases to the campus judicial system or give offenders the opportunity to participate in various counseling programs rather than subjecting them to criminal prosecution. Should they fail to carry out those steps, however, they may still be prosecuted.

In more serious cases, offenders are formally arrested, a criminal complaint is filed with the clerk of the circuit court and the case is prosecuted by the DeKalb County State's Attorney's office. Offenders in such instances do end up with a police record.


7. Can I ride along in a university police car?

The Department of Public Safety has a ride-along program. Contact us at 753-1212. You must complete a ride waiver to participate in the program.