Body cameras among campus safety initiatives

At the June 9 state Board of Regents meeting, President Steven Leath announced three initiatives to enhance campus safety.

Body camera pilot

The first is development of a comprehensive body camera policy by ISU police. It will require all uniformed police officers to wear body cameras while on duty. The cameras are activated during calls for service and other law enforcement action, and capture audio and video of these public interactions.

Police recently purchased body-worn cameras to outfit officers. Officers are testing the cameras now in a pilot phase.

Interim police chief Aaron DeLashmutt said the goal is to create greater transparency and accountability between police and community members. Use of body cameras will strengthen community trust, quickly resolve complaints and provide valuable evidence for prosecutors, DeLashmutt noted.

Safety escort app

Second, ISU police is in the process of launching a new mobile app, enabling students, faculty, staff and visitors to request a safety escort via their smartphones. Requests have more than tripled over the past decade to more than 6,300 requests last year. The new app, ready for launch this fall, will ensure greater accuracy in pick-up locations and allow riders to track the escort’s arrival time.

Multicultural liaison

The third initiative is expansion of the police's multicultural liaison officer program, which provides outreach to underrepresented students, faculty and staff. Officers Dwight Hinson, Natasha Greene and Nick Grossman will continue the work they began last spring by hosting meet-and-greet opportunities around campus, providing an educational initiative on hate crimes, and inviting the community to get better acquainted with the department through other fun, social activities.

Related story:

Safety escort app may debut this fall, April 21, 2016