In 2021, University Police (UPD) and the Division of Student Affairs welcomed Margolis Healy and Associates (MHA) to campus to assess the department and offer recommendations to better serve our campus community. After months of reviewing department materials and conducting virtual interviews and focus groups, the completed report was published. Implementation of these recommendations is now in full swing, and UPD is excited to introduce a transparency section on the website, offering tools for the community.

Data & Reports

While UPD has been publishing reports such as the Annual Safety and Security Report and IDOT traffic and pedestrian stop studies for decades, MHA’s report pointed out that those reports are only beneficial to those that know where and how to access them. In response to this finding, all data and reports are now listed on a single web page. By partnering with the Division of Student Affairs’ data team, many of these reports are provided in Microsoft’s Power BI platform, which allows users to better see details in the data.

Policy

UPD’s policies are public records and have always been provided upon request. However, MHA recommended that high liability policies (such as those surrounding training, recruitment, and crisis intervention) be proactively shared with the public. The eight policies recommended for publishing are available in the transparency section. Additional policies or alternate formats are still available upon request.

Engagement

MHA’s recommendations included providing easily accessible information about the ISU Police Advisory Council (PAC). The PAC was founded in 2020 by Chief of Police Aaron Woodruff. While COVID-19 slowed its implementation, the council now has a strong membership and is led by Mboka Mwilambwe, Assistant Director in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access. MHA’s recommendation of partnering with the PAC to grow transparency efforts echoes the goals of UPD, and we look forward to continuing to develop the transparency section of the website in partnership with this group.

Training, Complaints, & Records

Information on officer training, personnel complaints and compliments, and records requests have been available on the UPD website for some time. After discussing with stakeholders, these pages were relocated to the transparency section to be more accessible to the community.


This transparency section is far from complete; in fact, the goal of this section is not completion, but constant evolution to meet the needs and desires of the community. Chief Woodruff hopes that this section is just the beginning of a highly collaborative effort. 

“The best way to reach our goals is to partner with our community,” said Woodruff. “But, our community members cannot be effective partners without being fully informed. That’s what our transparency page is all about—getting us all on the same page so that we can move forward and achieve our mutual goals.”