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Iowa State Daily

ISUPD sees increase in mental health caseload, August activity report shows

Jacob Rice
Iowa State University Police vehicle parked outside of Troxel Hall. Sept. 25, 2023.

The Iowa State University Police Department (ISUPD) saw the largest mental health caseload it has seen in five years during the month of August, according to ISUPD Chief Michael Newton. 

Welfare check and medical assistance numbers saw a major increase of 750%. Many of these numbers are mental health-related. The department believes that part of that increase is related to people becoming more aware of the resources available to them. ISUPD has emphasized mental health awareness and training over the last few years. 

“What can we do to bring better awareness around mental health, and what other resources do we need to bring into this community?” Newton asked. 

Sexual assault numbers also increased 150% compared to August 2022. Alongside emphasizing mental health, the department is also focusing on sexual assault numbers. 

“If you look at these numbers, that’s only a fraction of the assaults that actually happen,” Newton said. “Truthfully, if we can get people to come forward, and I know that’s a hard thing to do, we can try to get to the root of the issue and try to have more prevention.”

Traffic stops are up for the year 39.2%. ISUPD has recently received complaints from the community regarding speeding and other traffic violations happening on busy streets. There has been a push by the department to curve that behavior with the help of a grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau that is funding more officers on the street.

Another notable increase is the year-to-day calls for service, which were up 52.8%. Part of this is due to the department being able to put more officers on the street. Along with that, ISUPD has been focusing on documentation overall. 

Year-to-date, comparing numbers from previous years, traffic stops are up 39.2% and case reports are up 19%. Calls for service have also increased by 52.8%

August statistics: 

Assault: 1 

Sexual Assault: 5 (150% increase)

Harassment: 6

Burglary: 0 

Theft: 5 (58.3% decrease)

Theft from a motor vehicle: 1

Motor vehicle theft: 2 (100% increase)

Drug violations: 15 (11.8% decrease)

Alcohol violations: 49 (22.2% decreased)

Extortion/forgery/scam/fraud: 2 (100% increase)

Criminal mischief/vandalism: 7 (46.2% decrease)

OWI: 11 (45% decrease)

Traffic and accidents: 43 (53.6% increase)

Welfare check/medical assist: 17 (750% increase)

Traffic stops: 562 (10% increase)

New reports: 172 (100.3% increase)

Calls for service: 2,945 (24% increase)


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