For the past two years the Iowa State Daily has produced the Iowa State University Department of Public Safety’s annual report. The annual report is the department’s summary of outreach and call records which details the department’s major milestones in the past 12 months.
The Department of Public Safety first came to us in 2018 and asked us to take the 2017 report and make it into something more digestible and readable – to make a version that could be used to introduce DPS to new students, allow the department to reflect on its previous year, and as an actual report to entities like the Iowa Board of Regents.
In our first year the project was headed by then editor-in-chief, Emily Barske, who had developed our strong relationship with the Department of Public Safety.
Upon the release and distribution of that first publication, the department received positive feedback from campus and community members. Michael Newton, Chief of Police for Iowa State University Police Department, was excited about the new partnership.
The ISU Department of Public Safety is unique from a lot of other police departments, as you might expect being based on a college campus. The department puts a great deal of emphasis on outreach and engagement and they are extremely focused on connecting with the ISU community in new ways and dispelling the stigma college students normally have towards police.
Over the past few years, the department ramped up its outreach efforts dramatically, introducing events like ‘Donut Disrespect’ where officers hand out donuts in various places around campus and Ames. The department is also very focused on developing a positive relationship with the community and creating opportunities for people to meet officers in casual situations.
Thus began a win-win relationship that continues today – our students get a chance to work on a professional publication, and learn to work with a client and their needs; while DPS gets a product that is for students, by students, which is vital to them and their mission.