BROOKLYN RAINES | STAFF REPORTER
In 1990, Butler University students would have to contact the city police if there was a problem. In 2015, Butler University Police Department is just a call away and can be there to help within minutes.
The formation of BUPD is something Assistant Chief of Administration Andrew Ryan said needed to happen to keep the campus safe. Until it was established, contracted security company oversaw campus. It could do some community policing, but Ryan said it could not do other things like make arrests. When problems on campus occurred that the security company wasn’t in position to handle, the city’s police department was called on. This was a tax to them, since they aren’t required to handle problems on Butler’s campus.
“The university had to figure out a way we could maintain a good, safe, secure campus and how do we do it as a law-enforcement agency,” Ryan said. “I think by having a law enforcement agency, we have options that the city wouldn’t necessarily look at.”
Some of the those options include being able to and having the authority to make arrests.
Since the process of becoming a police department in 1991, BUPD is a highly professional organization that works to keep campus safe in various ways.
Officers such as Ryan and Assistant Chief of Police John Conley underwent high-level training to become BUPD officers. The rigorous time put into training and the unique features of BUPD have helped them work toward achieving a safer community.
Indiana only mandates that officers go through 24 hours of training per year to maintain certification. Officers with BUPD go above and beyond that training. Last year, BUPD officers were required to put in 60 hours of training, as well as the 40 hours of training the year before.
BUPD officers also have to undergo training that is unique to their situation of working on a college campus. Conley said the Clery Act and federal compliances are just a few of the unique training systems officers undergo. The Clery Act training requires officers to participate in interactive sessions lead by a practitioner trained in their field that tackles areas like response and prevention.
Two weeks ago, officers, Butler staff, IMPD officers and members of Homeland Security participated in federally mandated table-top exercises. During the exercises, the F.B.I. went over various “what if” scenarios involving Hinkle Fieldhouse and other locations on campus, Conley explained.
Aside from training and expertise, BUPD’s location on campus and ability to provide services other organizations can’t, has assisted officers in working together to keep Butler’s campus a safe place.
Conley credits the unique feature of being a smaller unit to BUPD’s location on campus. This allows BUPD to get to any potential problems faster and assist request for help.
“Being smaller you have tighter controls on everybody doing the thing you want done the same way,” Conley said. “Having that close contact with each one of the officers, you learn a lot from them on what they see as the issues and the problems. And because we are a tighter-knit group, it allows one shift to talk to another shift a little bit more and rely some of the issues that are going on.”