University of Northern Iowa

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Department of Public Safety

Police Division


Up to 18 sworn and fully certified police officers along with full and part time trained and certified police dispatchers provide a variety of services to the community on a 24-hour basis. The department trains and certifies students to perform dispatch services to supplement agency operations pursuant to state statutes as well. University of Northern Iowa police officers possess full powers to detain, investigate, and arrest. Jurisdictional authority is state-wide in matters involving UNI. Mutual aid agreements with other law enforcement agencies may result in the extension of enforcement authority beyond university boundaries.

University of Northern Iowa police officers receive ongoing training and certification as a department as well as train with other police agencies regionally and across the country. Our primary goal is to provide the highest level of safety.

The Police Division's goal is to protect life and property, deter/prevent crime and enforce laws and regulations. The varied needs of the diverse university community are served through a commitment to education and training. Police officers present dozens of programs annually on crime prevention, victim rights, self-defense and alcohol education. In addition to community education, the Department of Public Safety seeks proactive solutions to crime and safety threats. Officers partner with community groups and other law enforcement agencies to address traffic dangers, issues regarding sexual assaults and crime prevention.

Department History

Until the late 1960's, UNI campus safety and security needs were served by night watchmen and the City of Cedar Falls Police. Faced with unrest on University campuses, the Iowa Board of Regents petitioned the legislature and was granted a request to upgrade campus Security Guards to Special Security officers with significant law enforcement responsibilities.

Over the last 30 years, the needs of the community and standards for law enforcement have changed and evolved. Today, all UNI Officers are now fully state-certified Police officers, trained and commissioned as peace officers by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council.