BPD Sergeant clarifies presence at senate meeting

Katie Fata

Bloomington Police Department Officer Kiel Nowers attended IWU Student Senate’s Nov. 3 meeting after an email detailing the introduction of a BPD presence on campus was sent to students. 

According to Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Brandon Common’s email, the BPD’s presence is supported by a grant awarded to the University and will be introduced to strengthen the enforcement against underage drinking and drug use on campus. 

The email told students that the partnership is meant to help IWU students better understand their responsibilities as “good citizens both on campus and in the community.” 

Nowers, as well as Dean Karla, explained the purpose of BPD on campus at the meeting. 

Nowers clarified details within the email and gave students more information on what officers exactly would be doing on campus. 

According to Nowers, they are only going to be here during times where safety is especially necessary. 

He stressed that designated officers would be walking around in a more casual sense than students may have perceived from the email. 

“Officer Nowers told us that as students, we aren’t required to acknowledge them nor will they go out of their way to approach us if they see us,” sophomore Jennifer Medina, who attended the meeting, said. 

Nowers’s main purpose at the meeting was to clarify the information sent to students. 

“I understand the worries people had before they came to the session, as well as how the media has been portraying law enforcement.

After his discussion with us, I felt a lot better,” said Medina. 

In a follow-up email to students, student senate chief of staff Jarlai Morris clarified that officers will only be on campus six times for the entire spring semester. 

Nowers mentioned during his presentation that the officers are only coming seven more times from now until October 2020. 

Two shifts are being saved for next fall semester, meaning officers will be on campus five times for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. 

Nowers released the name of the man who had been seen on campus approaching female students Timothy Eaton as many students were concerned.

He also clarified that officers were aware of the recent spike of strangers on campus at night. 

Nowers then touched on campus areas that the officers would be walking on, and took suggestions from students for other places they felt needed more supervision. 

The original email sent to students mentioned “students reported that they feel safer on campus” when BPD was on campus. 

No citation or evidence of this claim was provided within the announcement. 

Nowers also mentioned said poll at the meeting

.He noted that in general, the results showed students felt safer in the presence of police. Again, no citation was mentioned. 

Medina said, however, that the meeting did clarify some details the email missed. 

“Once you have all the details, it is a lot easier to feel comfortable with their presence,” Medina said. 

Students with questions were encouraged to email [email protected] or visit the Dean of Students Office.