Police deserve student gratitude

There’s a big difference between saying thank you and demonstrating gratitude, and the Northern Star editorial board urges students to show their support for the efforts made by university officials to keep their students safe.

Concerns arose as a result of the seven incidents of shots-fired and three additional incidents involving handguns, according to a Nov. 2 Northern Star article. Among the incidents was also an aggravated assault at Stevenson Towers Oct. 26, all of which were reported through NIU’s safety bulletins.

“I will always weigh on the side of safety of our students, so if I have to make, or with my colleagues, we have to make instant decisions to make sure you’re safe, we will do that,” said NIU Police Chief Tom Phillips in response to the campus safety concerns.

NIU Police Department officials go to great lengths to help ensure students’ safety on and off campus. In light of a spike of gun violence, they have made several adjustments to their preventative measures to address safety concerns.

“Both the NIU Police and DeKalb Police have recently increased the number of officers patrolling on- and off-campus and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future,” acting President Lisa Freeman said in a Nov. 1 campus-wide email.

Freeman also highlighted several other ways the university is working to keep students safe, such as positioning a mobile command unit throughout campus that enhances police presence and their ability to respond to calls.

One improvement we as an editorial board greatly appreciate are the changes made to the Huskie Line Bus. The bus line now allows for additional stops and has extended evening hours. On Nov. 3, a Flag Stop service was added so students can wave down a bus when not at a designated bus stop, according to the Huskie Bus Line website. The Huskie Safe Line will continue to be available from 11 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.

Showing appreciation and gratitude for police and law enforcement can be as simple as obeying the law and speaking uplifting words of appreciation, but we as a student body can take it one step further.

Many officers and officials give up holiday celebrations with their families to ensure their community is safe, and the time away from home can be strenuous and disappointing. Writing letters and showing respect by thanking them for their service when interacting can make a positive impact.

As we enter into the holiday season, let’s remember to pause and reflect on the aspects of our lives that we should be truly thankful for. While it’s easy to complain about issues like insufficient parking space, we need to remember the dedication of our police department to keeping us safe.