University Police Department is hoping to partner with different organizations around campus to create a multicultural approach to community policing.
UPD Chief Jim Duckham and Ro Anne Royer Engle, interim associate vice president for student affairs and enrollment services, presented their goals for the upcoming academic year at the Board of Trustees meeting Sept. 9.
According to the presentation, UPD defines community policing as a philosophy.
“Community policing is really a philosophy more than anything or one particular program," Duckham said in the meeting. "A lot of times, I will be talking to chiefs of other departments and I hear an officer talking about how they have community policing with one officer or one specific program and I cringe when I hear that because that's not community policing."
Community policing is a philosophy that has to start at the top of the university, he said.
Community policing was described as a department-wide approach to intentional partnership development geared at problem solving, increasing meaningful engagement, service oriented, compressive training and evaluating performance.
"Department members participate in training on topics like cultural diversity, bias incidents, hate crimes and racial profiling because it’s important that police understand the community’s concerns and perspective on important topics, such as race relations," Duckham said in an email from university strategic communications.
The meaningful engagement aspect of community policing is one component that Duckham stressed.
“UPD will continue to seek opportunities to engage with the Ball State community,” Duckham said. “UPD has attended student organization meetings, met with executive boards and attended programming in residence halls, with the goal of interacting with students and building relationships. The department is always looking for opportunities to build relationships, increase understanding and establish trust. The response by the community to UPD’s efforts has been positive.”
The partnership among UPD and the Multicultural Center was created to dispel the myth about what policing is on campus and redefine what policing at Ball State is going to look like by engaging in all of the different campus communities.
“This academic year, UPD hopes to partner with different organizations, such as the Multicultural Center, to jointly host programs that will improve police and community relations,” Duckham said.
Duckham was not available to comment beyond this. When the Daily News reached out for an interview, questions were directed to Lisa Renze-Rhodes, director of media strategy, who Duckham answered them through.