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.
In June 2020 the Police Use of Force Project identified eight key policies which are believed to heavily influence the force used by police departments. These policies are referred to as #8Can’tWait. Here is how the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police Department’s policies and procedures meet objectives of the #8CantWait campaign.
Our Policing Philosophy
We are responsible to the UNL Community and the public.
- Supervisors conduct quarterly reviews of body worn and in-car 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.
- 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.
- UNLPD is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).
- 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 decrease the level of force immediately when it is no longer necessary to effect an arrest or protect the safety of others.
- 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.
- A UNLPD liaison is assigned to each University college to collaborate on common goals of safety, crime prevention, and special events.
- 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.