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Cooperation key to homecoming safety effort

October 16, 2013
Chief Thomas Phillips

Chief Thomas Phillips

During homecoming week there was a significant demand for police and fire services and a dramatic increase in pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic throughout the area. To that end, the Northern Illinois University Department of Police and Public Safety and City of DeKalb worked together to ensure a safe environment for the community and its visitors to enjoy the weekend’s activities.

“Chief [Gene] Lowery and I combined our efforts this weekend to ensure that NIU students, families, and friends safely enjoyed the spirit of Homecoming on campus and in the DeKalb community,” said NIU Chief of Police Thomas Phillips. “Part of our cooperative effort included partnering our officers in the fraternity and sorority community and the northwest side of the city.”

Law enforcement received praise for the safe atmosphere during homecoming weekend at Sunday’s NIU Student Association Senate meeting. The weekend passed with very few incidents.

“NIU and DeKalb police continued their excellence in cooperation during Homecoming. Weekends such as this can be a great experience for both the students and alumni, but the success of the weekend could not have happened without the collaboration of both police departments,” said NIU Student Association Senate Speaker James Zanayed. “With the masses of people–both students and non students–there had to be a strong police presence. The students surely appreciate the forces’ hard work and professionalism.”

In an effort to facilitate the public safety response and access, enhance the safety of residents and better control the increase in traffic of all types, the City of DeKalb announced parking restrictions to enhance the safety of the students and residents in neighborhoods adjacent to and around the campus area. Both city and campus police provided coverage of these areas, working together and pooling resources to better serve the community.

ILdeka1[1]“We both agree that having NIU and DeKalb officers work together during a large scale event like Homecoming provided a fantastic opportunity to improve our communication, response, and service to the campus and surrounding community,” Phillips added.

He says he hopes to partner more with DeKalb Police on a regular basis, noting that sharing resources provides better service to campus, residents and the community at large.