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ISUPD’s five-year report shows increases in calls for service and extra patrol

Courtesy of ISUPD
ISUPD trains annually for active shooter events. During their January tra

The Iowa State University Police Department (ISUPD) has seen significant increases in calls for service over the last five years. While taking a dip in 2020 due to the pandemic, numbers have consistently gone up. 

In 2019, the department received 21,494 calls compared to 2023, where it received 33,815, a 57.323% increase. 

Alongside the increase in calls for service, the department has increased the numbers regarding extra patrol. Statistics saw an increase of 691.134%, going from 1,658 in 2019 to 13,117 in 2023. 

“It definitely increases our output because we’re putting extra officers on the street as part of that grant,” ISUPD Chief Michael Newton said. “That can’t be your normal patrol staff, so we’re actually putting extra people out to do those enforcement activities.”

In the report, the department notes the top ten most common offenses by calendar year. From 2019 to 2022, the top offenses were traffic and driving violations. 

Response to resistance numbers have stayed relatively consistent over the past five years, ranging between eight and 12, despite calls for service increasing. 

“Alcohol is a leading factor in many of our cases,” Newton said. “Actually, over 58% of our use of force or response to resistance cases where we have to use force because of somebody’s behavior have alcohol [or] drugs correlated with them.”

Looking into the next five years, one of the department’s goals is to keep up the increase in outreach events. Over the past three years, the number of outreach events officers have done has increased significantly, going from 271 in 2021, to 348 in 2022 and 437 in 2023. The hope is through more community engagement, crime statistics can be affected. 

“We know that if we build the right relationships, we can change all these numbers together as a community,” Newton said. “We still have work to do, so we’re gonna keep doing it.”

February Activity 

February showed a 400% increase in extortion/forgery/fraud cases, going from one in 2023 to five in 2024. Several of those cases have come from phishing phone call scams and emails. When receiving email scams, the department encourages students to report them through Outlook. 

Theft statistics increased 175%, going from four to 11. Newton said those numbers have been consistently rising over the past several years. 

Alcohol violations doubled, going from nine in 2023 to 18 in 2024. Newton believes this increase can be tied to the community’s abnormally nice weather during February. 

“We’ve had some nicer weather in February, more activity, more people around,” Newton said. “So that’s not uncommon; that number ebbs and flows throughout the years.”

OWI numbers were down by 61.5%, which could be tied to the decrease in traffic enforcement by officers. Traffic stops saw a reduction of 16.6%, going from 403 to 336. 

“We had other cases and other calls, so officers were busier and didn’t get didn’t get to do as much traffic enforcement,” Newton said. “If you look, we’re down in traffic enforcement as well, so a lot of these other cases take our time; February was super busy for us mental health-wise.” 

February statistics: 

Assault: 2

Sexual assault: 0 

Harassment: 5 (37.5% decrease)

Interference with official acts: 0

Trespassing: 4 (33.3% increase)

Extortion/forgery/fraud: 5 (400% increase)

Burglary: 1

Theft: 11 (175% increase)

Auto theft: 1

Criminal mischief/vandalism: 11 (15.4% decrease)

Drug violations: 12 (7.7 %decrease)

Alcohol violations: 18 (100% increase)

Weapons violations: 1

OWI: 5 (61.5% decrease)

Traffic/accidents: 24 (33.3% decrease)

Traffic stops: 336 (16.6% decrease)

New reports: 121 (4.3% increase)

Calls for service: 2368 (12.6% decrease)

Outreach events: 49 (96% increase)

Number of arrests: 32 (28.9% decrease)

Number of charges filed: 44 (37.1% decrease)

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Comments (2)

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  • J

    J | Apr 5, 2024 at 7:03 am

    So glad we have ISUPD!!!!

  • D

    D | Apr 4, 2024 at 9:14 pm

    We have the best police force! They deserve our respect.