Our department is unlike other campus departments. Filled with rich and unique history, the University Police Department made years of progress to the practice of improving law keeping on campus and keeping up with the society's outlook on safety and security.
UNL PD Earns international accreditation
After a 3-year review, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) has granted the University Police Department accreditation.
University Police moved from 17th and Holdrege into 300 N.17th St. The new department covers the west ground level area of the parking garage. Police dispatch has been connected to an area law enforcement CAD system. The system allows for area agencies to observe what calls other agencies are currently on. The benefit of all departments sharing information allows for better use of patrol duties and assisting each other in protecting the campus community. An additional investigator was assigned to assist the previous investigator in expanding duties.
Owen Yardley was appointed Chief of Police.
Chief Yardley had spent the previous 22 years with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office. Since his appointment Chief Yardley has worked closely with Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Christine Jackson to obtain additional officers and equipment for the Department. Some other notable changes have been an increase in the Bike Patrol, computerized dispatch, a new report system in the works, and the addition of a crime scene technician who works with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office and Lincoln Police Department on major crime scenes. Today's UPD consists of 74 dedicated employees: 12 Dispatchers, 13 Community Service Officers, and 31 commissioned officers of varying rank.
Chief Cauble resigned and Assistant Chief Bill Manning made Interim Chief
In the short time Chief Manning was in office he implemented several notable programs. A Policy Review committee was created and charged with updating the Department policy and procedures manual. An Advisory Board was created with representatives from all areas of the Department to address employee concerns. An Investigation unit and Campus Safety & Crime Prevention units were also reinstated after having been previously dissolved due to personnel cuts. Finally, department cruisers received in-car cameras during this time.
Chief Gade retired and Lt. Ken Cauble was promoted to Chief of Police.
In the years to follow Chief Cauble made many changes, one of the most major being the severance of Parking and Transit Services into a separate Department. The Student security and Residence Hall security programs were dissolved and replaced by full-time Community Service Officers.
The reporting system was converted to a computerized system and officers were no longer allowed to work the street until completion of the basic training academy program in either Grand Island or through the Lincoln Police Department, followed by a field training program.
The Department moved to a new location at 1335 N. 17th Street.
A Stronger Unit
UNLPD consisted of 45 commissioned officers, several civilian office staff and numerous non-commissioned officers. There were two specialized units created within the Department. The Criminal Investigations Unit was charged with the responsibility of investigating major crimes on campus, as well as assisting officers with their regular case loads. Investigative techniques included the gathering of fingerprints, construction of composite drawings of suspects, surveillance, and conducting follow-up of cases. The second specialized unit was the Crime Prevention Bureau. This unit issued publications designed by UNLPD and distributed to the University community and also presented lectures and participated in group discussions on such topics as sexual assault prevention and office security.
Perhaps one of the most widely recognized duties of UNLPD came to the Parking and Traffic Division. Thousands of vehicles owned by students, faculty, and staff had to be parked on campus safely, securely, and efficiently. This ominous task was performed by one Captain, one sergeant, five full-time clerical members and six parking control officers. These people were responsible for parking permit sales, processing violations, and enforcing parking rules and regulations.
One of the newer innovations during this time period was the utilization of University students as student security and residence hall security officers. These non-commissioned security officers patrolled the University facilities and grounds throughout the evening and early morning hours. They were responsible for walking through each campus building checking for doors and windows left open or unlocked, vandalism, fires, or any other situation which might endanger life or property. Student security officers also remained in the dormitories at night providing security for the students and housing facilities and staff. Equipped with radio systems, student security officers were in constant contact with each other and could summon the assistance of UNL Police if the need arose. Both the student security program and residence hall security were coordinated through UNLPD.
Gail Gade became the Department's first official Chief of Police in May.
He was preceded by two sergeants and a captain respectively. Under the direction of Chief Gade the UNL Police Department changed from a security oriented force to a professional Police Department. Officers were commissioned by the Governor and the Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. New officers were required to have 80 hours of field training with a Field Training Officer prior to being placed on patrol by themselves. The officers were then required to attend Basic Law Enforcement certification training at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Academy at Grand Island or through the City of Lincoln Police Department within their first year of employment.
Increasing student unrest which marked the late 1960's brought about primarily by the deepening unfavorable attitude toward American participation in the Vietnam War created dissension on campus. This period of unrest, coupled with increasing crime rates, caught campuses unprepared. It was under these circumstances in 1969 that the University of Nebraska, along with major Universities throughout the nation, sought to establish and expand a Police force of personnel who had training and expertise in the area of law enforcement. It was then that the University Police Department again moved, this time into the Forburger Building located north of the Stadium at 1024 Avery Avenue.
New Location for the Security Office
The Security Office again moved, this time into a room on the first floor of the old Geography Building, complete with a restroom and an elevator shaft. The old Geography Building was located just south of what is now Hamilton Hall.
A Growing Campus
Enrollment more than doubled, new facilities were added enlarging the area of responsibility, and streets cutting through the campus were sealed off and no longer subject to the jurisdiction and control of the Lincoln Police Department. The construction of high density dormitories on campus added responsibility for the UNL Administration to provide protection for the students and their personal property on a twenty-four hour basis. It was at this point University Security was commissioned by the Lincoln Police Department as "Special Police for the City of Lincoln" and obtained their first cruiser.
New Location for the Security Office
The security operation moved from the Stadium to an old wooden army barrack located on the east side of what is now Hamilton Hall. At that time there were a total of eight security guards. Gradual growth in the force strength continued with no appreciable change in the purpose or structure of the organization through the 1940's and into the early 1950's.
A Humble Beginning
A solitary night watchman was hired by the University Physical Plant to provide security for University buildings. As the University expanded, additional night watchmen were hired to perform security and fire-watch functions.