UIC Police Department seeks Student Patrol members
With the return of students, faculty and staff to campus this semester, the UIC Police Department is currently seeking additional members for its Student Patrol. The Student Patrol was established in 1980 to act as the “eyes and ears” of the police and handle routine calls for service. In addition to providing an invaluable service to the university community, students involved in Student Patrol achieve educational goals by earning money for tuition and gaining valuable work experience.
The Student Patrol program employs students to conduct a variety of tasks that do not require a police officer’s involvement. Its members are deployed on walking patrols to observe and report suspicious or criminal activity to the department. In addition, they are responsible for:
- Locking and unlocking buildings
- Providing walking escort services to faculty, staff, students, and visitors
- ID verification of persons requesting access to campus facilities
- Supporting UIC Police administrative staff
- Performing monthly campus lighting surveys
- Assisting Police Advancing Community Engagement (P.A.C.E.) officers at events.
Student employees have no police authority and are instructed to notify an officer if they observe a potentially dangerous situation.
UIC Police Chief Kevin Booker believes strongly in the Student Patrol program because of his own personal experience.
“The UIC Student Patrol serves a critical role in the overall mission of the UIC Police Department,” he said. “I helped develop a student patrol program while in college and worked as a member of the student patrol. I then I had the opportunity to supervise student patrol while a student, which led me to where I am today.”
Booker added that many former Student Patrol members now serve in the UIC Police Department and in many other city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Current Student Patrol members are enthusiastic about the ways the program has enhanced their educational and vocational experiences while attending UIC.
“I joined the Student Patrol program because I am interested in joining law enforcement with dreams of joining the FBI,” said Carlos Ochoa, a UIC senior majoring in psychology and criminology, law and justice while also pursuing a minor in finance. “I pursued this job in hopes of learning more about the behind-the-scenes of law enforcement. Working within the police department at UIC has allowed me to build many meaningful connections with members of the department who have provided me with information and advice about pursuing a career in law enforcement.”
A member of the Student Patrol for two years and a team leader since May, Ochoa encourages students to consider joining because it has helped him improve a number of skills such as critical thinking, time management, and listening within a work environment where effectively communicating with others is critical.
“Our superiors at the department also understand that we are students first and have other priorities such as school and student organizations we’re involved with,” Ochoa said. “They also really care about our mental health and are compassionate and always available to reach out to. Members of Student Patrol become part of an amazing community.”
Student Patrol member Nico Novillo agrees that the connections he’s made with law enforcement officers have been invaluable during his time at UIC.
“I met Officer Jarrett Mister at my freshman orientation and when he introduced the program to everyone, I was amazed with it,” Novillo said. “The second they let us go home, I walked to the police station and filled out an application on the spot.”
A senior with a double major in criminology and psychology and a minor in Spanish, Novillo has participated in the Student Patrol for three years and is currently its most senior member.
“There are three things I love about being part of Student Patrol,” Novillo said. “Number one is that I now know the entire campus by memory – I’m able to look at a picture of some place on campus and know where it is. Number two is that I have made great connections in the department and on campus and am able to take full advantage of all resources available to me. Finally, I’ve had the opportunity to patrol the campus and report suspicious activity. If you are able to help just one person in your time on Student Patrol, it makes it all worth it,” he added.