The Northeastern Illinois University Police Department currently consists of twenty sworn Officers, three Police Sergeants, two Police Lieutenants, a Police Chief, and 10 Civilian Support Staff; all who help keep the campus safe 365 days a year. The Department is responsible for four University locations, spread throughout the City of Chicago.
The roots of The Northeastern Police Department go back as early as 1968, when it was called “Parking and Security.” Back then, the annual budget for the entire department was $61,878. At that time, the main responsibility for the Department was to enforce parking ordinances on campus and provide basic security services to students and faculty. It was mostly composed of off-duty and/or retired Chicago Police Officers and Firefighters.
The Northeastern Illinois University Police Station was not always located in the Parking Garage. At the time of the Department’s origin, their location was a mobile trailer beside Parking Lot "D." Eventually they were relocated to the "I" Building on the east side of that parking lot. After the parking garage was constructed in 2006, the Department moved to its current location on the first floor of that building.
In the 1970s the State of Illinois mandated that all public colleges and universities were required to have a department of sworn police officers. Under the guidance of the Illinois Compiled Statutes of 1972, the University now had its first Police Department whose members were sworn to uphold the Constitution and Laws of the State of Illinois and the United States of America. Under the jurisdiction granted in the statute, Northeastern Police now had full law enforcement authority, including the power to make arrests on or off University property. At this point, the University changed the name of the department to “Safety and Security” and had an increased budget of $134,977.
During the 1970s, consistent with a trend in law enforcement, the Officers wore blue sports coats and slacks as their uniforms. This changed in 1984, when Director of Public Safety, Edgar Davis (seen here on the right), switched to a more traditional brown uniform similar to the Illinois State Police.
Originally, the Department sent all the newly hired officers to the Police Training Institute (PTI) at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana where the recruits lived on the premises during their training. Later, due to the strain put on the officers by the months spent living away from their homes and families, the Department decided to send its new Officers for training to either the Chicago Police Academy or Cook County Sheriff Training Academy, located at Triton College, in River Grove, Ill..
In 1981, Northeastern Police hired its first full-time Dispatchers. Then in 1984, the Department bought its first telecommunications/dispatch center, and soon instituted the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS). The Deparment secured LEADS Certification, and installed a LEADS capable computer, which connected nationwide to other Police Departments and Law Enforcement databases for information sharing and dissemination. Again, the Department went through another name change, and was now called "Public Safety."
As the world started to digitize, so did the Department. In the 1990’s the Dispatch center followed this global trend, improving safety for all Officers, Students, and Staff. In 2008, the Department changed its name from “Public Safety” to “University Police,” and its departmental budget had grown to $1,172,422.
In 2015, after a vigorous application process, the Department earned the distinguished award of being an accredited Police Agency by the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (ILEAP). NEIU Police are now recognized within an elite cohort, and are part of the group of 21 Police Departments to be awarded with this distinct accreditation.
Throughout all the years of changes, Northeastern Illinois University Police have focused on ensuring that students and faculty have a safe and peaceful learning / working environment. This continues to be the Department's mission today and in the years to come.
Northeastern Police can be reached anytime:
Non-emergency: (773) 442-4100
Emergency: (773) 442-5511
Researched and Written by Daanish Waudiwala and Officer Jose Orozco.