Campus safety and security update
Dear students, faculty and staff,
Last week, UIC Police received a report regarding a series of disturbing anonymous Facebook posts suggesting that there could be a threat to the campus. This report was referred to the police and after an investigation, it was determined not to be a credible threat. A message stating this was sent via email and text to the campus community as soon as the threat assessment was made.
We thank everyone who alerted the UIC Police or campus administrators with their concerns. As a community, we have a shared responsibility to identify, report, and respond to possible threats to our campus and community.
The UIC administration and police force take every potential threat to the safety of campus seriously. The UIC Police Department is composed of sworn officers with statewide arrest powers and they patrol the campus 24/7. UIC Police has established relationships with the Chicago Police Department, FBI, and other city, state, and federal partners. These relationships are often leveraged to investigate crime and threats of crime to our community.
Since last week, we have received inquiries about why we did not do more to reassure our community that the campus was safe. This situation serves as an example of the challenge we face when we want to release timely, factual official communications, which may be at odds with unsubstantiated rumors and discussion on social media.
This is the current environment that we live in and it is possible that this type of situation may occur again. When we hear of potential threats, as we did last week, our police department will investigate and advise UIC administration about the credibility of the threat to UIC. We will alert the campus community as soon as possible with an informed assessment of the facts by sending timely messages through the UIC ALERT system, on email and on social media. Unfortunately, there may also be incorrect information and unsubstantiated rumors circulating, particularly on social media that are beyond our control to stop. However, if individuals still feel uncomfortable being on campus due to these or other sources of information, they are free to act accordingly.
If you have not already, we urge you to sign up to receive text message alerts through the UIC ALERT emergency notification system. You can also register other mobile numbers, such as parents, spouses, or other family members or friends.
We also urge you to download UIC SAFE, a free safety app that allows users to easily connect and share their location with family and friends in real-time, reach UIC Police with just a touch of a button, review UIC emergency response guidelines and more. The free app is available for both Apple and Android devices.
The safety and well-being of everyone at UIC is our foremost concern. We work hard to demonstrate this through our ongoing prevention and awareness programs to eliminate activity contrary to our security and to encourage students and employees to be responsible for both their own safety and the safety of others.
Please consider participating in the prevention and educational programs offered at UIC. By acting responsibly, caring for community members and remaining vigilant, we can maintain our university as a safe, secure and resilient place in which we learn, live and work.
Michael D. Amiridis