To the university community:
I am certain that all members of the NIU community share my frustration and anger over the incident that took place at an off campus party in the early morning hours of Sunday.
The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our foremost concern. We are committed to doing whatever is required to make our campus and community as safe as possible.
Going forward, we will work with the local law enforcement and the City of DeKalb to find and implement better ways to monitor gatherings both on and off campus. We want our students and their guests to enjoy themselves, but at the same time we must do whatever is necessary to protect our students and our community.
The fact is, we have been working closely with the DeKalb Police Department for the last two years to improve safety in neighborhoods around campus. We conduct shared roll calls, our police do ride-alongs with the DeKalb PD and vice versa, our radio systems are now compatible and we intensify our efforts at collaborative policing at the start of each semester. The speed at which our police forces, as well as the Sycamore police and state police, arrived at the scene on Sunday morning is testimony to our shared commitment to public safety.
Those efforts have paid dividends. Statistically speaking, our campus safety record for the past few years is on par with similar campuses nationwide, and the crime rate in DeKalb last year reached a 10-year low.
However, those statistics provide little comfort at this moment.
This weekend’s incident will be an impetus to work even harder, in concert with our students, DeKalb PD and other agencies to find ways to make our campus and its surrounding neighborhoods safer still, and I ask you to join us in these efforts.
We train our students on bystander intervention when they see or encounter individuals engaged in potentially harmful behavior. We, too, can be active bystanders in an effort to enhance the safety and security of our campus and community. If you see or are aware of an individual or individuals who appear to be engaged in potentially unlawful or dangerous behavior, please contact the NIU Police at (815) 753-1212, DeKalb Police at (815) 748-8400 or anonymously at (815) 753-TIPS (8477).