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Bradley police chief speaks on community initiatives before Student Senate

Bradley police chief Brian Joschko discussed BUPD’s current objectives for diversity and community outreach initiatives as the guest speaker of the Student Senate’s general meeting on Monday.

Student body president Emma Hoyhtya believes that concerns over BUPD’s only female and Latinx officer departing may have influenced Joschko’s interest in covering inclusivity efforts, which he shared after approaching the Student Senate.

“He’s always been a huge support … for senate, and he really wanted to make [the discussion] happen,” Hoyhtya, a junior management and leadership major, said.

Joschko began the meeting by detailing several relevant policies and practices within BUPD. He highlighted the “use of force” policy officers must abide by, which emphasizes de-escalation, requires verbal warnings and necessitates reviews for all uses of force.

He also described how police descriptions remove race for the purpose of avoiding negative stereotypes, as race-influenced descriptions could apply to many students.

“It unnecessarily targets students of color if the suspect description is something vague and generic,” Joschko said.

On the note of practices, Joschko explained that officers must receive 40 hours of crisis intervention training, a portion of that designated to cultural competency. He further stated that officers were trained not to accept calls on someone solely based on their appearance, and rather ask follow-up questions to gauge the seriousness of the situation.

“I always find it interesting to hear him speak on all aspects of safety on campus, and to hear about what kind of training is happening for the officers,” Hoyhtya said. “It’s imperative for the safety of our university for the people that protect us to remain up to date on current regulations.”

Joschko also touched upon BUPD’s initiatives to interact with students, including the implementation of a student orientation optimized for COVID-19 as well as an adapt-an-organization initiative, where officers collaborate and offer resources to different resident halls and organizations.

Following the end of his remarks, speaker of the assembly David Daye led a Q&A period with attendee-submitted queries.

From the questions, Joschko confirmed that while he could not recall the specific ethnicity breakdown of BUPD’s population, they are currently enlisting one female and two Black males. He also addressed the possibility of BUPD being short-staffed, stating that the police keep a select minimum number of officers on duty at all times.

When asked about the challenges of policing a campus during COVID-19, Joschko revealed that with fewer social outings and BUPD’s change in model, the average number of arrests has been very small, and crime has decreased in every category but domestic violence.

Joschko also stated something of particular interest to Hoyhtya.

“One thing that stuck out to me was the fact that officers are required to wear masks at all times when in contact with students when that has not necessarily been the case this semester in my experience,” Hoyhtya said.

Hoyhtya promised that the Student Senate would follow up with BUPD in that regard, but was otherwise grateful for Joschko’s time.

“I … really appreciated his ability to answer questions and take time for students, and we’ll always take time to look into any issues or concerns that may arise in BUPD,” Hoyhtya said.

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