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ISUPD tackles implicit bias training, October activity report shows

ISUPD
ISUPD

The Iowa State University Police Department (ISUPD) honed in on training throughout the month, although the summary statistics from the October activity report showed few major changes compared to October 2022.

In October, all officers participated in the state-required implicit bias training. All police officers in the state of Iowa are mandated to complete this training. ISUPD had an Iowa Law Enforcement Academy instructor to bring education resources to officers.

“You can be biased about many different things. If you’ve had experiences in your life where you’ve seen the damage that alcohol has done to people, you have this bias against people who drink too much, and you’re treating them differently,” ISUPD Chief Michael Newton said. “Understanding and making sure officers are aware that there are things in our lives that shape how we perceive people is important.”

Another focus the department wants to work towards in the upcoming months is victimization training, especially as it relates to extortion, forgery, scams and fraud. ISUPD has seen an increase in scams targeting specific groups of people.

“We want to help the community be good at understanding the things that will help them not become a victim of a crime,” Newton said. “We see it more with our international students; they seem to, unfortunately, be victimized by some of these more often, so we’re trying to do more education with people.”

Calls for service year to date have increased by 38%, with 28,518 calls so far in 2023, compared to 2022, with 20,541. Part of this increase is due to officers putting a focus on keeping better records over the last year.

“We’re keeping better track of what officers are doing plus, adding our public safety officers to the mix,” Newton said. “They’re taking a lot of cases on our contract at Mary Greeley, and so that definitely adds to it as well.”

Burglary is down compared to years past. Newton said this is due to students becoming more vigilant with their belongings and not leaving them unattended in public spaces.

Drug violations did see a minor decrease, going from 18 to 14 violations. However, Newton predicts these numbers will increase over the next several months due to the weather.

“It’s almost that time of the year; we’ll probably start to see more cases because it’s colder out and people smoke indoors, so we’ll get more marijuana cases,” Newton said.

Alcohol violation statistics saw one of the few major changes, from 69 in October 2022 to 29 this October. The department attributes this to the fewer home football games and special events. Typically, the more football games in a month, the higher the statistics will be for alcohol violations. There was one Iowa State home football game in October.

The report showed that year to date, traffic stops are up 33.3%. This is due to the department’s concentration on getting impaired drivers off the road. OWI numbers remain consistent, going from 13 in October 2022 to 11 this October.

While accidents decreased from 38 in 2022 to 22 in 2023, Newton still advises the public to focus on driver safety and attention.

“We remind people to be more careful as the roads get slick, especially when it snows when it melts and refreezes,” Newton said. “Although a lot of our accidents happen in the broad daylight and on a good day. It’s just really paying attention to your driving and driving behaviors.”

Summary Statistics:

Assault: 1
Sexual Assault/Fondling: 0
Harassment: 6
Burglary: 2
Theft: 14
Theft from motor vehicle: 2
Motor vehicle theft: 1
Drug violations: 14
Alcohol violations: 29
Extortion/Forgery/Scam/Fraud: 3
Criminal Mischief/Vandalism: 13
OWI: 11
Traffic and accidents: 22
Welfare check/medical assist: 9
Traffic stops: 484
New reports: 151
Calls for service: 2,984

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