INDIANAPOLIS and BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Police Department is introducing motorcycle patrols this month to improve pedestrian safety at IU Bloomington and IUPUI.
"It's about contact with the public," he said. "We try to change behavior and educate them, as opposed to writing a bunch of tickets."
IU is one of the few Big Ten universities without motorcycle patrols -- until Monday, when the IUPD-Bloomington division debuted its motorcycles at Chick-fil-A's Hero Night event. The motorcycle patrols at IUPUI should be hitting the road within a few weeks. Pedestrian safety has been a concern on both core campuses because of accidents involving vehicles and either pedestrians or cyclists.
Since 2015, there have been 31 vehicle accidents at IUPUI involving pedestrians (22) and cyclists (9); there was one fatality. During that same period, 59 vehicle accidents occurred at IU Bloomington involving pedestrians (38) and cyclists (21).
IUPD divisions on each campus will be looking at other measures to improve pedestrian safety, as well. IUPUI, for example, received a grant to raise awareness of the danger involved with driving and walking when also using electronic devices, such as cell phones.
The motor officers' first priority will be pedestrian safety. They also will serve a community engagement function escorting road races and athletic teams and participating in parades. The officers selected to ride the motorcycles will be more accessible to the public and easier to talk to -- similar to officers on bicycle patrols.
The two officers selected from each campus completed their training in May at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's motor patrol training facility. The Harley Davidsons were delivered this summer and are having IUPD specific decals applied. Eventually, IUPUI and IU Bloomington divisions may each have 4-6 motor officers sharing the two motorcycles for each campus.
Seifers said Harleys
IU Public Safety is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance, which falls under the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for IT and CIO.