University of Iowa amps up student security to improve campus po - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

University of Iowa amps up student security to improve campus policing culture

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The University of Iowa Department of Public Safety wants to improve their community policing policy on campus by adding nearly 125 student security officers.

"It's their own peers, it's within the community. That's how we become apart of the community and not a standoffish department," Jonathan Ron, a security supervisor said.

A handful of students currently work as security guards; responsible for checking dorms, campus buildings, parking lots, and working athletic events. Delia Teichman has been working as one since September.

"At first it was kind of weird because they look at you a little bit differently now that you're wearing this yellow shirt," Teichman said.

The department sees that student security officers are easier to approach and will help with communication between the full-time security officers that aren't students with the rest of campus.

Teichman said it's already helped her look differently at those officers.

"It's made them more human because when you're just a regular student you're looking at them and you're like 'oh, well, they're so much higher than I am, they're so much more important.' They're kind of scary too because they're tall and you're really small but once you get to know them they're just people like you are," she said.

Saying that her job is sending a similar message to her own peers.

"Now, they kind of understand that we're the same people, we all have to deal with the same things and classes so they kind of appreciate it a little more I think," Teichman said.

They hope students can give them a better idea of the community needs while spreading a better understanding of what the department does.

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