The University of Indianapolis Police Department has officially entered into a partnership with Sheriff Layton as of Monday, Feb. 15. Through this partnership, emergency phone calls will now be dispatched through Marion County.
This was arranged with the help of both Chief of Police David Selby and Lieutenant Hailey Padgett-Riley. According to Selby, this change will make a significant positive impact.
“It [the partnership] sends us light-years ahead of where we were,” Selby said. “Out of this, we are actually a true 911 department. So when people dial 911, they will get Marion County emergency communication. They will hear that, and then they will take the information, and they will call us. If something really serious happens, IMPD [Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department] can hear it, too. So it’s not going to be just us.”
Selby was concerned that when students call for help they will be confused by a Marion County dispatcher answering instead of a UIndy employee. He wants students to know that they did not call the wrong line. This is how things operate now.
“We’ve become real interoperable, because IMPD is hearing what is going on, so we are working back and forth,” Selby said. “We had a situation just a couple of weeks ago where one of our sergeants heard about an ambulance at Nicoson [Hall]. By the time he got over there, they were leaving, because they called 911 and didn’t bother to call us. We got the report, but now we are in the loop.”
According to Selby, this new system will help solve many of the UIPD’s problems and concerns.
“There was always an officer safety issue, because there weren’t a lot of people monitoring what we were doing down on the streets,” Selby said. “We did have communication with them, however they wouldn’t know if something happened unless someone called them. Another important issue we had was calling us after hours. The phone was transferred to this switch that sent the telephone call to the radio…. There wasn’t a clear conversation. You couldn’t understand what was going on a whole lot. And there was the issue of it would time out, so people thought we were hanging up on them, and we actually weren’t. Those two issues are what I think … probably really pushed this forward.”
Padgett-Riley welcomes the new system. She thinks that it will bring benefits to everyone in the UIndy community.
“It is for officer safety, and they [the callers] get a more streamlined process,” Padgett-Riley said. “It’s going to help the UIndy community because we can get there faster. If someone is injured and they just call EMS [Emergency Medical Services], we are here on campus and can get there. We’re all first responders.”
Selby believes this program is unique. He said many universities do not have this type of opportunity.
“What’s cool about this is [that] we’re the only campus that is a part of this right now,” Selby said.
If UIndy community members have questions about the new partnership, they are encouraged to contact the UIPD office.