The mission of the University Police Department is to provide an environment of safety and security which ensures a peaceful quality of life in the university community by establishing collaborative partnerships with students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Our Policing Philosophy
We are responsible to the UNL Community and the public.
- UNLPD is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).
- Officers wear body cameras and have cruiser cameras. In addition, supervisors conduct quarterly reviews of video footage to ensure both lawful and professional performance.
- Officer candidates must pass a stringent pre-employment process – written application, physical testing, several rounds of interviews and complete a lengthy document covering all facets of personal history. A job offer is also dependent on the candidate successfully completing a physical exam, polygraph test and psychological testing.
- UNLPD encourages feedback from the community. Complaints or concerns about officers or other department personnel can be filed here. The department reviews and investigates each report. These internal investigations can result in improvements to department procedures or policies and intervention with an employee.
- A Police Advisory Board, consisting of diverse representation across the campus community, works with UNLPD to dive into our policies and training, finding ways we can improve our service for the entire university community.
- Use of Force incidents are documented and reviewed by the on-duty supervisor. The incident is then reviewed by command staff for adherence to policy, and an annual review of all use of force incidents is conducted to identify patterns and/or concerns.
- Through UNLPD’s Personnel Early Intervention System, any pattern of situations or significant incident involving an employee is reviewed and any concerns are addressed. These incidents include use of force, weapons drawn, pursuits or fleeing vehicles, and improper use of leave or excessive tardiness.
Professional Development & Training
We believe in professional development of all employees to enhance our level of service to the University Community.
- Officer recruits complete 16 weeks of live-in academy instruction at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center and an additional 12 weeks of field training.
- Officers and dispatchers are required to take annual training and development in the areas of implicit bias, Title IX and victim services, mental health, legal updates, in addition to defensive tactics and firearms including practice scenarios involving decisions.
- UNLPD continuously reviews our training to specifically look for areas of possible improvement.
- UNLPD partners with local law enforcement agencies to increase knowledge and experience in areas including crime scene investigations, narcotics, and K-9.
Policies & Written Directives
We are guided by comprehensive and accredited policies that are periodically reviewed to comply with the law and the constitution and to promote accountability and trust.
- Officers and all employees are required to report violations of policy or of a person’s rights to supervisors or command staff.
- Officers are to exhaust all options and clearly announce themselves prior to the use of deadly force.
- Officers are to decrease the level of force immediately when it’s no longer necessary to effect an arrest or protect the safety of others.
- Officers are required to intervene if excessive force is being used by another officer, and all employees are required to report suspected excessive force to a supervisor.
- UNLPD protects First Amendment Rights during lawful demonstrations or protests.
- UNLPD does not collect information of persons involved in lawful exercise of constitutional rights.
We believe in a community policing-oriented approach through relationships with those we serve to collectively problem solve and enhance safety on campus.
- A Community Service Officer (CSO) is dedicated to each residence hall for enhanced engagement and problem solving with residence hall staff and students.
- An officer is assigned to work with the UNL Greek community to address shared issues and concerns.
- UNLPD works with the UNL Children’s Center to assist with their unique safety needs.
- UNLPD offers a Citizen's Police Academy as well as ride-along opportunities to members of the UNL community who are interested in learning more about our department.
- UNLPD works individually with various departments on campus to advance shared goals.
- UNLPD collaborates with the Center for Advocacy, Response & Education (CARE) to provide advocacy and support to students, faculty, and staff.
University Police Officers are committed to providing a professional and full service police department to the University. Officers complete their recruit training at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center located in Grand Island, Nebraska. Graduates then return to the department to enter into a three month Field Training Program. This program provides further training specific to campus law enforcement. Upon completion of this process officers are assigned to a patrol shift.
University Police Officers maintain a high level of visibility on campus, which helps create a strong connection with the community. Linked through our state-of-the-art communication center, our officers patrol campuses 24 hours a day on foot, in cars, and on bicycles. The University officers work collaboratively with Lincoln Police to prevent and solve problems in the areas around campus.
The Investigations Unit is responsible for in-depth investigations. Our role in investigations is three-fold: to investigate crimes, develop crime prevention strategies and tactics, and assist crime victims. The emphasis is on prevention. Technology plays a major role in efforts to reduce crime. Investigators use state-of-the-art exterior camera views along with other technologies in order to help them investigate matters to their fullest.
Community Services Officers (CSO's)
Community Service Officers (CSO) perform security functions for student housing, and complete a 8 week field training program specific to the University of Nebraska so they may better serve the campus community as first responders. CSO's are an important component in the security of the campus as they serve as additional eyes and ears to police officers. Although residence halls are the main priority, students will also see them occasionally in academic buildings, computer labs, libraries, and sporting events. Daily attire for the Community Service Officer is a uniform consisting of a gray shirt and black trousers.
The University Police Dispatch Services division consists of twelve full time dispatchers. Often, the public's first contact with University Police is with one of these trained dispatchers. After gathering the necessary information, dispatchers use a radio system to detail emergency responders to calls for service.
Dispatchers are highly skilled and trained to monitor the status of officers in the field and activities of other area law enforcement or emergency services near to campus that may affect the University Community. They are also responsible for processing reports, responding to requests for records, maintaining found property and issuance of department equipment, responding to inquiries at the department's service desk, monitoring life safety alarms, and analyzing of department statistics. A system of over 1,500 Security Cameras on campus allows dispatchers to view activity 24 hours a day