MACOMB, IL -- The Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety (OPS) is seeking public comment from the University and area community members as part of the department's Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (ILEAP) evaluation.
OPS is in the process of revising its policies and procedures in order to meet the standards set by ILEAP. As part of the accreditation process, the policies and procedures must reflect ILEAP standards and follow ILEAP mandates. According to OPS Director Scott Harris, accreditation demonstrates that an agency has achieved a level of professionalism among its law enforcement peers and validates the methods of service its members provide to the community in which it serves.
OPS personnel, WIU faculty, staff and students and members of the community are invited to offer comments during a public information call-in session at (309) 298-2610 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. Calls, which are limited to five minutes, must address the department's ability to meet the ILEAP accreditation standards, which include administration, personnel, operations and training.
"This feedback is an important part of the accreditation process as it provides valuable information on how the department provides service to the community, and how the department may better serve the needs of the community going forward," Harris added.
Individuals who are unable to call on Feb. 21 during the designated timeframe may submit a comment ILEAP assessor Chief Tony Brown of the Rantoul Police Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brown and Investigations Commander Paul Yaras of the Morton Grove Police Department will conduct an on-site assessment of the Office of Public Safety Feb. 21-22 to judge the department on the basis of ILEAP standards regarding administration, operations, personnel and training for Tier I accreditation.
Tier I accreditation requires the department to meet 69 separate ILEAP standards regarding administration, operations, personnel and training, which are designed to follow best practices in policing.
Western's Office of Public Safety started as Campus Safety and Security in 1956, replacing the security guard era. The department, currently led by Director Harris, employs 24 fulltime officers and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week from Mowbray Hall on the WIU campus. In addition to routine patrol, OPS dispatches officers to the street on foot and bicycles, as well as in the residence halls nightly. Officers also perform such duties transporting money from campus buildings to local banks; providing security to athletic events and concerts; providing traffic control; providing transportation to the hospital; conducting building safety checks; hosting educational and safety-related programming; and supervising student patrol and emergency medical services on campus.