14NEWS investigates college campus security - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

14NEWS investigates college campus security

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

A 14NEWS investigation into University of Evansville and University of Southern Indiana's campus security has unearthed some interesting numbers.

According to law enforcement records, there were four reports of sexual assault at USI since November. Authorities say two of those reports were classified as unfounded after an investigation, in another, the victim stopped cooperating, and another allegedly happened off campus. 

Last month, sheriff's deputies responded to 56 runs at USI. That included anything from criminal mischief, to what's called a "law investigation."

USI's campus population is nearly four times the University of Evansville's student population.

Records we pulled show Evansville police have responded to no violent crime reports at UE in the past month.

UE and USI do not have campus police departments. They have public safety offices. They are not sworn police officers and do not carry weapons.

USI boasts a campus population around 10,000 people and a staff of 15 full-time officers, according to USI's director of public safety.

Other schools with similar student population numbers and even smaller schools, have campus police departments.

"USI has an outstanding public safety office. They handle the students’ needs and the campus needs, however in light of what we've seen with these mass casualty shootings on campuses, they're not really equipped to respond to that type of activity," said Sheriff Dave Wedding.

USI's public safety director says the discussion of having a sworn police department has come up before.

“If I'm a parent of a student, I would like to think they have trained law enforcement on campus to respond immediately,” said Wedding.

Both UE and USI have text alert systems, and hire off-duty law enforcement for special events. 

USI public safety officers are EMT trained, because they say their number one call is illness or injury related. 

Here's the numbers for how local universities compare to other Indiana institutions (who have campus police departments with sworn police officers):

Institutions Police Dept or Security Officers How many officers? Campus population
University of Evansville  Security officers (cannot carry weapons)  Nine public safety personnel   2,600 people
University of Southern Indiana  Security officers (cannot carry weapons)  Sixteen public safety personnel  10,200 people
 Notre Dame  Police Department  25 full-time officers  10,000 people
 Valparaiso University  Police Department  12 sworn officers  4,000 people
 Indiana Univ. Southeast  Police Department  11 sworn officers  6,500 people
 Indiana Univ. Northwest  Police Department   12 sworn officers  5,200 people
 University of Indianapolis   Police Department  9 sworn officers  5,000-6,000 people
 Ivy Tech - Indianapolis  Police Department  27 sworn officers  14,000 people
 Indiana State Univ.   Police Department  27 sworn officers 13,000 - 14,000 people
 Butler Univ.  Police Department   16 sworn officers  4,000 people
 Ball State  Police Department  32 sworn officers   20,000 people

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