Oct. 14, 1993
Vol. 13, No. 4

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    Committee's function is to respond to police complaints

    Stephen Schulhofer, the Frank and Bernice J. Greenberg Professor in the Law School, has been reappointed as chair of the Committee on University Security for the 1993-94 academic year. Schulhofer will be joined on the committee by two other faculty members, two staff members and three student members.

    The committee evaluates complaints brought against the University Police by students, staff and faculty, reviews the actions of the department in handling such complaints and, when necessary, makes recommendations to the president regarding the department's policies and procedures. The University Police Department is obligated to notify the Committee on University Security of all complaints received.

    "Members of the University community are encouraged to file a complaint immediately with any of the three University Police watch commanders, or with the director's office," said Rudolph Nimocks, Director of University Police. "These complaints will be investigated immediately, and the earlier we hear about them, the better. We also encourage community members to report their complaints to the Committee on University Security."

    An annual report of the committee is published in the University of Chicago Record, which is distributed with the Chronicle. An independent entity, the committee does not replace University Police's own internal review and discipline procedures.

    "The University Police Department does an extremely good job of protecting people and property at the University, and it has been extremely sensitive to all members of the Hyde Park community," said Schulhofer.

    "At the same time, the Committee on University Security serves an important function as a check on the department. It helps the University Police Department maintain its current high standards of sensitivity to community concerns. The committee provides an opportunity for the community as a whole to communicate its concerns to the department, and it provides the police with a credibility vis-a-vis the community.

    "By this I mean that the committee takes a very hard look at all complaints it receives -- as the community will see when our latest report is issued. We have a detailed process of review, we give all issues a hard look, and we require University Police to explain any loose ends. When the community sees what we do, and that the University Police Department is responsive to our inquiries, it helps the community have trust in the fairness of the department, and it helps ensure the credibility of our procedures for reviewing complaints."

    If you wish to bring a concern to the attention of the committee, contact the Committee on University Security at 702-9494.