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Frequently Asked Questions

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You may have questions about how we manage campus safety at NIU. The answers to some questions we are often asked are below. If you would like additional information, call the NIU Department of Police and Public Safety at 815-753-1212.

Crime statistics—which we track and publish in our Annual Safety and Security Report—show that crime at NIU is comparable to other campuses across Illinois and among four-year public institutions of a similar size. NIU is a safe campus, but no community or college is completely free of crime.

Located in the cornfields of rural DeKalb County, the city of DeKalb balances the friendly feel of a small town with the conveniences of city and suburban life. It's home to many families, several thousand NIU employees and many students who rent apartments. Like other communities that border a college campus, DeKalb is not immune to crime, but it is a safe community. Plus, statistics show that crime is declining.

Your safety and the safety of your fellow students is vitally important to us. We also value your independence and have worked to build an environment that supports you with many safety measures, including the following:

  • We teach you how to improve your safety during your orientation visit. You also receive safety information when you move in to your residence hall. In addition, you receive safety briefings throughout the year and have access to safety tips online.
  • We have a highly trained police force of over 50 sworn officers.
  • Each NIU residence hall has a 24-hour community safety center with a dedicated campus police officer.
  • Residence halls have security personnel, designated entrance areas, night check-in procedures and (for high-rises) 24-hour key access to floors and elevators.
  • We use dozens of cameras to monitor key areas and entry points to residence halls.
  • The campus is well-lit, including sidewalks, roads and parking lots.
  • Emergency call boxes are located around campus and can be activated in case of an emergency.
  • The Huskie Patrol, a group of student employees, patrols campus on weeknights from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. They will also walk with you if you don't want to walk alone.
  • The Huskie Safe Line provides free shuttle rides along a fixed route from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
  • You can provide your mobile phone number through MyNIU in order to receive emergency alerts via text message.

These procedures and resources help us build and maintain a safe campus community.

The NIU Department of Police and Public Safety uses community policing to prevent crime. NIU officers interact with the NIU and DeKalb communities through educational programs, foot patrols, vehicle patrols and bicycle patrols.

The NIU Department of Police and Public Safety and the DeKalb Police Department assist one another with cases on and off campus by 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.

The NIU Department of Police and Public Safety also works cooperatively with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Illinois State Police.

No. Illinois' concealed carry legislation allows NIU to continue its practice of prohibiting guns on campus. The possession and carrying of weapons on NIU property remains illegal and prohibited. This extends to all property owned or controlled by the university, including, but not limited to, locations outside of the DeKalb campus where university classes, programs and activities are held.

Uniformed NIU police officers patrol campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week on foot, on bicycle and in patrol vehicles. Plainclothes officers are often present throughout campus and at special events.

However, we believe that campus safety is not just the responsibility of police officers. Every day, over 4,500 faculty and staff members teach, assist and interact with students in classrooms and other facilities across our 800-acre campus. We believe that student welfare is the responsibility of every employee.

We have established comprehensive personal safety precautions. The NIU Department of Police and Public Safety presents many courses about crime prevention and safety to groups in the university and community.

Safety tips are posted online, and safety messages are sent to the university community at the start of every school year, as well as during routine tests. In the event of an actual emergency, communications are emailed and/or texted to students and faculty/staff members.

Most importantly, you can take responsibility for your security and personal property. You can help prevent the loss of property by carrying only small amounts of cash, never leaving your valuables unattended, not lending your keys to anyone, locking the doors and windows to your home and car and reporting any suspicious activity to the NIU police immediately.

While there is a low incidence of crime at NIU, you can help prevent crime by reducing opportunities to become a victim. Use good judgment and be responsible for your and others’ security. Be aware of your surroundings and leave a social function if it gets too loud or crowded, or if many people are drinking excessively.

When you provide your mobile phone number in MyNIU, you're automatically registered with our emergency notification system to receive text messages about emergency situations and criminal activity on or near campus. All students and employees also receive emergency information at their niu.edu email address.

We also notify the community of emergency situations using sirens and weather radios, broadcast voicemail messages, in-building public address announcements, campus networked computer alerts and internet protocol television (IPTV).

Emergencies 911
University Police Non-emergency Number 815-753-1212
Interpersonal Violence Response Team 815-753-6102
Health Services 815-753-1311
Counseling and Student Development 815-753-1206
Employee Assistance Program 815-753-9191
Human Resource Services 815-753-6000
Huskie Student Patrol 815-753-9658
Huskie Safe Line 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

As part of our commitment to providing information to the community to help keep our campus safe, and in compliance with the federal Clery Act, NIU publishes two reports annually: the Safety and Security Report and the Fire Safety Report.