Local police keep busy over summer

By Rocio Lopez

Despite the summer season, University Police and the DeKalb Police Department are just as busy as during the regular school year.

Even though most university employee’s work weeks have been reduced to four days, UP are still on patrol seven days a week.

The number of police officers on duty does not change during the summer, UP Lt. Matt Kiederlen said.

“Our summers are fairly inactive when it comes to criminal activity,” Kiederlen said. “Our focus shifts to physical security, making sure the buildings are locked.”

This time also is used by UP to schedule training sessions that include community policing and decision-making workshops, among other things.

These are held on campus and are obligatory for officers to attend. They are scheduled to take place at different times during the summer and are designed to meet the personnel and campus needs, Kiederlen said.

Because of the shorter work week, administrative personnel follow the summer schedule, but patrolling officers work a regular schedule.

“There is a significant reduction in population,” Kiederlen said. The decrease in activity allows for officers to request time off.

Lt. Jim Kayes of the DeKalb Police Department does not see a difference in the crime rate when school is out.

“Just because the kids go home, the city doesn’t go to sleep,” he said.

Much like UP, the number of active officers does not decrease during the summer.

But unlike UP, the Dekalb Police Department does not implement training sessions.

“We don’t have the ability to go do training,” Kayes said.

The only instances when there are not any DeKalb police officers on duty is for a department photo or a burial, Kayes said. The county and state police take over in those cases.

During the school year, there are more incidents involving alcohol and physical violence.

Kayes said contrary to popular belief, violent crime does not tend to decrease in the summer.

“It doesn’t seem to be connected to whether the kids are here or not,” Kayes said.