Protect IU Just another IU News Blogs site Mon, 20 Mar 2017 17:26:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Know where to go during Tuesday’s tornado drills? Mon, 20 Mar 2017 17:25:18 +0000 On Tuesday, students and staff at Indiana University will have the opportunity to try out what they would do if in the path of a tornado. As our peers at IU Kokomo know, the threat is real — a tornado caused considerable damange near the Kokomo campus last summer. While Indiana averages 20 tornadoes annually, it saw 35 last year.

Operation Stormy Weather flyerIU’s Operation Stormy Weather is held in conjunction with drills conducted by schools, municipalities and emergency management agencies statewide. New this year — IU is automating its IU-Notify emergency alerts so that tornado warnings can be issued several minutes quicker.

“The damage caused by tornadoes can be devastating and deadly,” said Diane Mack, university director for IU Emergency Management and Continuity. “With this change, IU-Notify emergency alerts will be issued at the same time the National Weather Service issues tornado warnings. This should provide a few extra minutes to respond when seconds can make a difference.”

During the morning and evening drills, students, staff and faculty members are expected to respond as they would to the real deal: heading to their severe weather shelter or the safest location available. IU President Michael A. McRobbie and faculty leadership sent a letter to colleagues earlier this year emphasizing the importance of complying with emergency instructions during real-life incidents and drills.

What to expect:

  • IU-Notify alerts using most modalities, including email, text and Alertus desktop alerts, will be sent between 10-10:30 a.m. and 7:30-8 p.m. announcing the beginning of the drill (9-9:30 a.m. and 6-7 p.m. CDT at IU Northwest).
  • New: Because the emergency alerts will be automated to sync with the National Weather Service and its procedures, no “All clear” will be given. During a real emergency, the expiration time for the warning will be included in the IU-Notify emergency alert. During Operation Stormy Weather, if no expiration time is given by the National Weather Service students and staff should return to their offices or classes after 10-15 minutes.
  • Students do not need permission from faculty to comply with emergency instructions during emergencies and drills. They can leave class to locate a severe weather shelter — but they must return.
  • Outdoor warning systems should issue tornado warnings but people inside may not hear these because they are designed to alert people who are outside.
  • A survey will be sent to gather feedback for improving the process.
  • Students living off-campus should check out this post to the Safe IU Bloomington blog. The blog targets IU Bloomington students but the information is useful for anyone anywhere. It emphasizes the need for good emergency kits and for NOAA weather radios.

It’s important to know where to go before the drill occurs. Most buildings throughout the IU system have maps posted by main entrances to indicate shelter locations. They also have staff who serve on emergency action committees that have prepared Emergency Action Plans for their building or campus. These plans, among other things, include procedures for how to respond to tornadoes and other threats.

collage of shelter selfiesSome plans are available online, and others can be accessed by contacting the building coordinator or building contact for specific buildings. The Protect IU website contains information for campus and building-specific plans and building contacts.

The safest places to be during tornadoes are in basements, interior rooms or hallways, and severe weather shelters, which are indicated by a tornado funnel cloud symbol. The Protect IU website also provides information about preparing for tornadoes and severe weather.

During the March 21 drill, here are some other considerations:

  • If you’re working in a lab or conducting another critical function that cannot be interrupted (i.e. dentistry procedure) and can’t seek shelter during this drill, the people who cannot seek shelter during the drill should take a few minutes to review the procedures and know where you would have gone to seek shelter, and those procedures should be discussed with anyone else in the vicinity. If this were a real tornado warning, you would be expected to proceed to a designated tornado shelter location.
  • When IU-Notify messages are delivered, recipients should be sure that those around them are aware of the message in case they are not subscribed to IU-Notify. They should check to see if anyone in their vicinity needs assistance in following severe weather procedure.
  • Also be certain that those people from other countries — who may be used to a siren signaling a tsunami — know what the siren means in the United States.

Emergency Management and Continuity staff would like to see pictures of students, staff and faculty members in their shelters, either on campus or at home. Pictures can be posted to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #IUShelterSelfie. A search of the hashtag will pull up pictures from last year. These pictures also can be viewed on Protect IU Instagram.

IU Emergency Management and Continuity 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.

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Tips for avoiding ransomware Mon, 13 Feb 2017 15:54:38 +0000 Ransomware is malicious software (malware) that encrypts files and then displays a message about how access can be regained by paying a ransom. There is no guarantee paying the ransom will actually restore access to those files.

Image of a ransomware messageNot only can it cause a complete loss of access to files on your local machine, but also to any shared networked drive(s). This means your misstep can not only lead to the loss of your baby pictures, but may also cause others to lose access to their files which may include dissertations, budgets, music, accounts receivable files, etc.

Sara Chambers, IU’s Chief Privacy Officer, and Tim Goth, incident response manager for the University Information Policy Office, share insights and tips for keeping your digital data and that of others safe.

Read more

Public Safety and Institutional Assurance falls under the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for IT and CIO.

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How secure is your data? Fri, 27 Jan 2017 18:00:07 +0000 Two cybersecurity articles caught my eye today. One discusses ransomware attacks on universities and quotes my colleague Kim Milford, executive director of REN-ISAC, Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which is based at IU. The other article discusses research from the Pew Research Center that shows Americans surveyed are generally loose with their password security while also doubting government agencies can protect their data.

In Inside Higher Ed’s article Your Data or Your Money: Hackers are locking colleges’ data away and demanding payment to return it. But paying the ransom raises new issues, experts say, experts say paying the ransom when a ransomware attack locks you out of your data and threatens to make it unusable doesn’t always solve the problem.

Kim Milford

Kim Milford

“It has to be a case-by-case decision,” Milford is quoted as saying. The article’s reporter said Milford encouraged colleges infected with ransomware to ask themselves the following question before deciding whether to pay: “Can we carry on with our business without this vital information that is being held ransom?”

Ransomware has been around since the 80s, according to the article, but has become a more common threat in recent years. Sometimes data is not restored even after the ransom is paid.
“What we find in cyberthreats is once somebody shows success, everybody is happy to exploit that success,” Milford said. “If they pay the ransom and it gets publicized, people start targeting them more and more and more. It’s a slippery slope.”

The other article, Americans and Cybersecurity: Many Americans do not trust modern institutions to protect their personal data – even as they frequently neglect cybersecurity best practices in their own personal lives, discusses Pew Research Center studies of the digital privacy environment and a 2016 survey that looked at cybersecurity habits and attitudes.

According to the article: “A majority of Americans (64%) have personally experienced a major data breach, and relatively large shares of the public lack trust in key institutions – especially the federal government and social media sites – to protect their personal information.”

It also found that “many Americans fail to follow cybersecurity best practices in their own digital lives.” Instead of using password management software, for example, it’s common for survey participants to memorize their passwords or write them down on a piece of paper.

The article also provides resources and tips for improving personal data security, such as Top-10 safe computing tips from Information Systems and Technology at MIT and 7 password experts on how to lock down your online security.

Public Safety and Institutional Assurance falls under the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for IT and CIO.

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Business continuity plans — save ’em if you’ve got ’em Wed, 09 Nov 2016 00:48:13 +0000 IU Ready, the tool used at Indiana University to create and store business continuity plans (every department should have one), is being upgraded Nov. 17-18. The 800 plus plans stored on IU Ready won’t be available during the upgrade so plan coordinators are asked to download a copy in case it’s needed.

Firefighters putting out a fire


Business continuity plans detail how departments would continue conducting their work if faced by short-term or long-term emergencies, such as power outages or fires. The plans should be updated annual and are examined when departments are audited.

Cinda Haff, the business continuity manager for IU Emergency Management and Continuity, says the upgrade should make IU Reader easier to use. Navigation is more intuitive, reports will be viewable on screen, and it will be mobile. Here are more details about the transition and changes to the new IU Ready:

  • Contents of existing department business continuity plans will migrated into the new version of the product at the time of the upgrade.
  • The new version reflects a refreshed look and feel that may assist in efforts to collect and manage business continuity details.
  • New ‘global navigation menu,’ with links to details screens, appears on every screen in the application. This replaces the menu tabs that were unique to each screen in the prior version
  • Guidance panels, specific information for each screen on how to input your data, hav been upgraded to provide clearer and more meaningful instructions.
  • For managing plan access, the use of the Gatekeeper role has been discontinued — the user type “plan manager” will be used for managing plan content and access. Two other roles are available – “plan editors” can update individual plan content and “plan viewers” have view only access.
  • New product version provides one screen to manage plan status instead of multiple steps/screens used in the old version to mark the plan as complete/current.
  • Improved reports with greater detail and added graphic display options for output.

IU Emergency Management and Continuity 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.

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Cooking with cops Wed, 26 Oct 2016 14:46:48 +0000

Campus police at IU Southeast are helping students with an imporant learning curve to help them eat healthier and reduce false fire alarms caused by burnt food.

Lt. Steve Miller’s Food with 5-0 program offers cooking classes to students living in IU Southeast lodges. Students not only learn tips on how to keep themselves from setting off fire alarms, but also how to prepare deliciously easy dishes that won’t break the bank. Miller is a 15-year veteran who enjoys sharing his culinary talents with those he protects and serves on an everyday basis.

Students leave the session with a new recipe, some helpful safety ideas, and a positive relationship with IUPD.

“The greatest benefit of the Food with 5-0 program is to get students to see IUPD as human and to interact with us in a non-traditional way,” said IUPD-Southeast Chief Charles Edelen.

IUPD and 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.

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A letter to the IU Bloomington community from your police division Wed, 12 Oct 2016 11:32:44 +0000 As captain of operations for IU Police Department Bloomington, Capt. Andy Stephenson is responsible for the patrol, investigations, training, and special events and programs divisions, as well as part-time officers and cadets, and auxiliary and security officers. As such, Stephenson supervises most of the individuals who have direct contact with members of the IU community, and he often can be found out and about on campus. These are Stephenson’s sentiments, but they match those of public safety leadership and university administration.

Dear IU students, faculty and staff:

With classes well underway and a flurry of events and activity occurring on the Bloomington campus, I want to take a moment to address concerns regarding police abuse of power and use of force, and the impact on our campus, that some of you have shared with me.

We have all witnessed controversial and, in some cases, unlawful police conduct in media reports. Likewise, some of you have, undoubtedly, had a personal experience that may have contributed to the forming of a negative viewpoint of not only a particular police officer but of all police officers. The men and women of the Indiana University Police Department share your concern. We acknowledge and recognize your fear.

Capt. Andy Stephenson

Capt. Andy Stephenson

Traditional policing philosophy, in which the primary mission is a reactive approach to the enforcement of laws, is ineffective in meeting the needs of communities and breeds negative contact with citizens. There is no doubt that the traditional police culture has helped to shape a climate of distrust between police and citizens, an “us versus them” world view by police, and an aura of suspicion in which all citizens are treated as though they are potential threats.

The IUPD has transitioned to a policing philosophy oriented toward customer service and positive interaction between police and citizens. We are updating our procedures on all campuses to reflect this and to align with best practices in the field. We are providing our officers with contemporary training on topics such as unbiased policing, de-escalation techniques, community relations, diversity, etc.

The IU Police Academy entrusts us with a unique and very important responsibility and enables us to make an even greater contribution to the future of policing in the United States. Our police academy graduates are IU students and future alumni who will work as police officers throughout the country. Our goal is to produce highly trained and educated, customer-service oriented officers who have been exposed to many different races and cultures and who can truly have a positive impact on the policing profession.

No matter your race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability or socioeconomic status, the IUPD serves every member of our community fairly, equally and without bias. Nothing less will be tolerated. Bias-based incidents should be reported to the IUPD and/or the Office of the Dean of Students.

Indiana University should be a safe haven where cultures from all over the world converge to live, share ideas and grow together. We must all come together to ensure that the rights of every member of our community are respected. We must work together to maintain an environment in which all students, faculty and staff can thrive in their pursuit of excellence. We must communicate with one another to solve problems so that we can prevent safety and crime issues from having a negative impact on our quality of life and the academic success of students.

We want to get to know you, and we invite you to get to know us. A vast majority of IUPD employees are IU alum who have a deep commitment to ensuring that those who call IU home have a world-class experience during their years on campus. We are a transparent organization. All are welcome to stop by the police department and take a tour, to schedule a ride-along with an officer, to explore our websites, to join us on Facebook or to simply take advantage of an opportunity to approach an officer and have a conversation. We offer seminars and presentations on a variety of topics, including active shooter response, self-defense for women, alcohol and drug abuse awareness, and many others. In addition, our police instructors can create a presentation to meet your needs for any safety-related subject.

Officers of the IUPD are always on duty to help protect you and serve your needs. We welcome new ideas and suggestions regarding ways we can better serve our community. We work for you. We are accountable to you. We are your police department.

Sincerely yours,

Andy Stephenson
Captain of operations
Indiana University Police Department Bloomington

IUPD and 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.

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New student group, IU Public Safety Partners, meeting at IU Bloomington Tue, 11 Oct 2016 18:19:40 +0000 Indiana University Bloomington students interested in social justice, safety communication, or careers in fields of law enforcement, emergency & safety management or public health should stop by the call-out meeting Tuesday for IU Public Safety Partners, held at 6:30 p.m. at the IMU in State Room East.

iu-public-safety-partners_twitterThe group is new so there are leadership opportunities. The goal is to connect students with staff within Public Safety and Institutional Assurance who have expertise in the above areas. This includes IUPD, Emergency Management and Continuity, Environmental Health and Safety, PSIA communications and additional assistance from Bloomington Police and RPS, whose assistant director for diversity will be helping with the social justice discussion.

IUPD Operations Capt. Andy Stephenson is particularly interested in the students who want to participate in social justice discussions and events.

“Police around the country need to do a better job of engaging the citizens of the communities they serve,” he said. “Our hope is that this will strengthen and enhance the relationship between students and police, as well as increase safety and decrease the fear of crime on campus. It will give police an opportunity for transparency and allow students to voice any safety-related concerns they may have. The entire university community can benefit as we work together to solve problems.”

During the meeting, facilitators will lead small-group discussions to hear from students what they’d like to get out of the group and how it should proceed. Anyone who is interested but cannot attend the call-out should contact Tracy James at

Preliminary objectives include the following:

  • Social Justice discussions
  • Assistance with safety communication
  • Pre-professional development for students interested in fields related to law enforcement, safety and emergency management and public health
  • Safety education

“Such a group is an excellent win-win opportunity,” said Mark Bruhn, associate vice president for PSIA. “We can seek input from students on how we are doing in safety and health and what we might change to improve, and we can provide students with practical experience through interactions with all manner of safety and health professionals.”

Public Safety and Institutional Assurance falls under the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for IT and CIO.

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Demonstrations, counter-demonstrations, IUPD: Rules of engagement Tue, 04 Oct 2016 13:45:02 +0000 keepcalmprotestCollege campuses and demonstrations go together like peanut butter and jelly. The goal of the Indiana University Police Department is to keep demonstrators and counter-demonstrators safe and to keep disruptions to university business (classes, for example) to a minimum.

The following are prohibited:

  • Injuring, endangering or threatening people. This includes shoving, “fighting words” and intimidating behavior directed at an individual, such as standing nose to nose with someone while yelling or directing racial slurs at individuals as they pass.
  • Damaging property. This includes grabbing signs belonging to others.
  • Camping. Camping and setting up temporary structures is prohibited on all campuses.
  • Significantly disrupting university operations. Protesters may enter university buildings but not private offices, labs, studios or other areas not open to the general public — unless invited by someone who manages the space. When inside university buildings, protesters should not linger and must leave if asked by someone who manages the building. They should keep the noise down and avoid blocking normal pedestrian traffic.
  • Weapons. Guns, whether concealed or carried openly, knives and other weapons are prohibited on all IU campuses.

What can you expect from IUPD?

  • Safety. Officers will make every effort to keep demonstrators and counter demonstrators safe, even if you’re protesting police activity. Police can have a greater impact if included in the planning for your march or protest (contact your campus police division).
  • Reluctant use of force. Police will use pepper spray, a baton or other forms of force only when the physical safety of a person or police officer is immediately threatened. Such decisions should not be made by the individual officer if time permits but through the chain of command.
  • Off-campus response? If the protest moves off-campus or occurs near campus, IUPD officers will only respond if invited by the responding police agency and then they will respond as a group under the command of an IUPD officer and IUPD practices/procedures.
  • Restraint, self-discipline and neutrality. IUPD officers are trained to act professionally, to remain neutral and to avoid being provoked.
  • Step back. If you’re videotaping a police-civilian interaction, you may be asked to step back for safety purposes.

Consequences – even if provoked

The U.S. Constitution and university codes protect individuals’ freedom of expression but there still can be consequences. For example, if a demonstrator or counter-demonstrator provokes you into pushing him, police may arrest you for battery. If demonstrators refuse to leave an office or building, they could be charged with trespass or banned from that specific building or the campus for a period of time.

The IUPD’s approach to policing demonstrations and protests is dictated by a formal IUPD “General Order” that requires police officers on all campuses to follow the same guidance. The department has a number of general orders as it moves to implement more consistent policing practices across all the campuses. These general orders include those addressing unbiased policing, body-worn cameras and response to resistance.

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.

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Distractions and haste can make pedestrian crossings perilous Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:19:09 +0000 When you’re crossing streets and driving through campus, it’s not the time to zone out on devices or to music.

Pedestrian signal

Pedestrians should follow all crossing signs.

IU Police Department urges both pedestrians and drivers to pay attention and be patient when traveling throughout Indiana University’s campuses.

“Put down the phone; take off the headphones,” said IUPD Indianapolis Chief Bob True. “Smartphones and handheld electronic devices are a daily part of our lives, but they take your eyes off the road and distract your attention.”

Special pedestrian crossing lights have been installed on New York Street at IUPUI and will be installed at three locations on Michigan Street. At IU Bloomington in recent years, crossings have been made more visible and islands have been installed to slow traffic.

Police say it’s important for pedestrians to follow the directions on pedestrian crossing signs – when the hand is flashing red and when the number countdown is red, pedestrians should not begin crossing a street. Citations are rarely issued, but failing to cross at crosswalks or crossing against the traffic lights could result in a $150 citation.

More tips for a safe commute:

When driving on campus:

  • When entering crosswalk areas, drive slowly and be prepared to stop.
  • Yield to pedestrians crossing in marked designated crosswalks, and be careful when passing vehicles stopped at the crosswalks. Indiana law requires motorists to stop if another vehicle is stopped for pedestrians at a crosswalk.
  • Establish eye contact with pedestrians and be patient.

When walking to and from class:

  • Stop and look both ways, even on one-way streets, every time before crossing the street — even when you have the right-of-way, and especially at intersections where a turn on red is permitted.
  • Obey traffic control signals for pedestrians. Before crossing, look both directions and over your shoulder for turning vehicles.
  • Cross the street at marked crosswalks and intersections. Establish eye contact with drivers before crossing: do NOT enter the crosswalk suddenly.

When cycling to class:

  • Follow vehicle traffic rules, including stopping at stop signs and riding on streets, not sidewalks.

“Distractions are everywhere today and becoming more and more difficult to avoid,” True said. “Remember that, as a pedestrian, your eyes and ears are you best tools for keeping safe. Stay alert and watch out. Pay extra care around construction.”

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IUPD leaders discuss Black Lives Matter, training, community relations and more Fri, 15 Jul 2016 12:49:36 +0000 Many Indiana University Police Department officers are honoring the five officers killed in Dallas last week by wearing black mourning bands across their badges until the last of the five officers is laid to rest.

IUPD badge with a black mourning bandKilled by a lone sniper during a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally, the officers’ deaths followed two controversial shooting deaths of black men by police officers in Minnesota and Louisiana. The deaths intensify already heated socioeconomic and cultural debates about systemic racism, poverty, police brutality, gun violence, domestic terrorism and other issues.

These issues are discussed and debated nationally and within our local communities. Here are some comments and observations shared by several IUPD leaders:

  • “Black lives do matter,” IUPD-Bloomington Chief Laury Flint wrote in a letter shared at a campus gathering. “IUPD officers have taken an oath to protect and serve, and we take that oath seriously. We value cultural diversity – it is one of the main reasons Indiana University is so unique and special. … No one should be afraid to walk with others or alone on or off campus, and we want everyone to be comfortable and confident enough to call 911 anytime there is concern.”
  • “Many police see the Black Lives Matter movement as ‘anti-policing,’ but it’s not,” said Wayne James, chief at IUPD-Northwest, in his hometown of Gary. “Some people in the movement may be. But the people who actually care, they aren’t radical; they just want you to hear them. Black Lives Matter members at the vigil on Sunday said they don’t want to see police killed. For people to show up on a Sunday at 6 p.m. in Gary – that is huge.”
  • “We cannot sink into an ‘us versus them’ mindset regarding our relationship with citizens,” IUPD-Bloomington Capt. Andy Stephenson wrote to his officers. His letter was shared with IUPD officers on all campuses. “We cannot allow these cowardly terrorists to accomplish their goal of increasing the divide between police officers and the citizens of our communities. Rather, we must unite, not only with one another, but with every citizen and organization in our communities to ensure that all are working together in unison to curb the violence, misunderstanding of the police role, and the distrust that some members of the community have of police officers.”
  • “The partnership between IUPD and the community is crucial,” Flint wrote. “In order for law enforcement to be truly effective, police agencies must have the active support and assistance of their citizens. We do not disregard high-profile incidents and allegations of police misconduct because they did not take place in Bloomington, and we want to maintain a safe community for all. This requires ongoing concerted effort, and I can assure you that IUPD is actively and continuously working on relationships in our community daily.”

The prospect of increased hostility or violence aimed at police makes a challenging occupation even more so. James said officers need to rely on their training, and police leaders need to make sure the necessary training is available. It is important to him, for example, that his officers have training in conflict de-escalation.

Stephenson wrote: “As I’ve said many times, traditional policing does not work and is ineffective in regard to satisfying the needs of our communities. We must be proactive, outgoing and positive in our policing philosophy and approach to daily activities on patrol.”

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.

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IUPD-Bloomington using social media to connect with students, staff and visitors Wed, 29 Jun 2016 14:17:42 +0000 Check out IUPD-Bloomington on Facebook. Campus police have begun using social media as they continue working to become more accessible to students and staff.

Officer Ciosek holding the rescued cat

Officer Ciosek

It’s important to dial 911 for help during emergencies. Facebook viewers can expect safety tips, traffic and weather-related information, helpful resources – such as info about upcoming self-defense training — and a glimpse of IU’s men and women in blue, who work to make IU a safety place to learn, work and visit.

And they can even expect some cute animal pics — officers rescued a cat that was stuck beneath a car on Tuesday.

“We want you to learn more about us and our services,” said Operations Capt. Andy Stephenson. “We want to hear from you, too. Let us know about safety concerns, questions you may have about the division.”

IUPD-Bloomington likely will expand to other social media platforms – let us know which we should try next.

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.

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IU alums help keep campuses safe through firefighting Tue, 28 Jun 2016 14:06:58 +0000 Guest post by Marina Allen, special projects intern for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

Yes, we like to brag about the success of our IU Police Academy graduates as they land various positions in law enforcement. I’m writing today about another kind of IU alum: men and women who devote themselves to protecting their communities as firefighters.


Read “Technology on Fire” to learn about collaboration between IU and Bloomington Fire Department.

The fire service is demanding and an important part of the public safety network that helps keep IU campuses safe. I was curious about what drew these alums into firefighting.

Steve Coover, a battalion chief and 25-year veteran of the Bloomington Fire Department, said his passion for firefighting developed before and during his years at IU Bloomington.

“I was always interested in being a firefighter, but the intent of my criminal justice degree was to become a police officer,” he said. “While I was in college, I became a volunteer firefighter and became involved in fire investigation, which meshed with my degree extremely well.”

For others, such as Indianapolis Fire Department Lt. Terry McConkey, an interest in firefighting developed after graduation and the start of a degree-specific position. She initially wanted to work for a pharmaceutical or biotech company.

“After realizing sales wasn’t my thing, I worked construction with my father while trying to figure out my future,” she said. “He stoked my interest in the fire service, and I later applied for Lawrence Township Fire Department in Indianapolis and got hired. I have been a firefighter for 27 years now.”

Some, such as IUPUI grad Aaron Yoder, made the decision based on personal interactions with firefighters themselves.

“My father was killed by a drunk driver when I was 13, and I still remember the scene with firemen, medics and police. So, in the process of applying for fire jobs, I wondered how I would handle seeing that side of the job — the emotional one,” he said.

Yoder works for the Indianapolis Fire Department. “I remember the words and actions at my father’s scene and enjoy helping people who may be having the worst day in their life, such as mine at 13.”

Even being dared into something can result in an enriched career. At least, that’s what happened to IFD firefighter Glenna Massey.

“I was talking with a firefighter, and he basically dared me to apply for the fire department. I laughed and told him I could never be a firefighter,” she said. “He told me that I had the right personality, drive and demeanor to be a firefighter, and that I just didn’t have the guts to give it a try. I took his dare, and 24 years later, I still love helping people.”

Regardless of how the decisions to serve as a first-responder came about, they all can agree on one matter: their humbling and rewarding experience.

“I love the people I work with,” said IFD Capt. Rena Wheeler. “The career is fulfilling, and I feel like I am making a difference in the lives of the people around me.”

BFD rescue technician Coy Timbrook says he tells people that the job is made up of “90 percent routine and 10 percent chaos,” and that “it is those 10 percent moments that allow us to earn our pay.”

IFD Lt. Christopher Cage describes fire department involvement as “the most rewarding type of public service where the benefits to the community can be most directly and timely experienced.”

As both a current IU student and an active participant in the Bloomington community, I have become familiar with the dedication and diligent attitude it takes to be successful in both areas. Your academic performance equips you with the tools for making a difference someday, but your involvement in your community puts those well-earned skills into practice. I often wish that my demanding academic schedule allowed additional free time to do more for the community that I now call home.

I feel as though we often take for granted the firefighters, police, EMTs and other men and women who serve as the wheels of our community, especially in the communities where IU campuses are located. If it were not for these brave folks, Hoosiers would not be able to fulfill their academic duties safely and worry-free (final exams excluded!). Reading through the numerous emails I received from firefighters fills me with great pride, and I am honored to share the same alma mater with so many intelligent and giving individuals. Staff, students and faculty can relax knowing that many of Indiana University’s finest are keeping their campuses safe from harm’s way.

A special thank you goes to all the men and women who made this article so enjoyable to compose:

Bloomington Fire Department

  • Stephen Coover, IU Bloomington graduate
  • Todd Easton, IU Bloomington graduate
  • Coy Timbrook, IU Bloomington graduate

Indianapolis Fire Department

  • Christopher Cage, IU McKinney School of Law graduate
  • Scott Denham, IUPUI graduate
  • Brendan Hartnett, IUPUI graduate
  • Lance Langsford, IUPUI graduate
  • Richard Lintner, IU graduate
  • Glenna Massey, IUPUI graduate
  • Terry McConkey, IU Bloomington graduate
  • Greg Middleton, IU graduate
  • Mike Rech, IUPUI graduate
  • Christina (Sell) Engleking, IU Bloomington and IU McKinney graduate
  • Zachary Tucker, IU East graduate
  • Rena Wheeler, IU Bloomington graduate
  • Aaron Yoder, IUPUI graduate

Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU falls under the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for IT and CIO.

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Ken Long named IU Bloomington director of emergency management and continuity Fri, 17 Jun 2016 13:41:36 +0000 Ken Long has been named director of emergency management and continuity for IU Bloomington after serving as interim director this spring and as assistant director since 2009.

Ken Long

Ken Long

Diane Mack, university director for IU Emergency Management and Continuity, said Long’s experience will allow him to seamlessly transition into his new role.

“The emergency management director position for IU Bloomington is critical to the campus’s preparedness for and response to emergencies,” Mack said. “Ken has been a champion of emergency preparedness for many years, and both his dedication to IU and his planning efforts have been a major contribution to the university and to our emergency management and continuity department. It is an honor to welcome him into this leadership position.”

As director, Long is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive emergency planning and preparedness program necessary to effectively undergird the university from all types of hazards and to enhance overall emergency capabilities for the Bloomington campus. This program has been designed to integrate and engage campus and community partners on a wide range of emergency and disaster issues that may affect the campus. The program includes addressing measures to protect the campus before, during or after emergencies in addition to validation of planning efforts by participating in disasters workshops, drills and exercises.

Whether for long-range planning, such as campus emergency preparedness or planning for individual events, such as football games, concerts and commencement, Long works closely with such partners as IU Police Department, event management services, the IU Health Center, student affairs, athletics, transportation, facility operations and many other offices.

“I strongly believe in the mission of our Emergency Management and Continuity program,” Long said. “Working as part of a team dedicated to the safety and protection of our faculty, staff, students and campus will allow me to take up the challenges we face in addressing the broad range of hazards that threaten IU Bloomington. I’m thrilled by this opportunity, and I look forward to serving the university in my new role.”

Long retired from the Marine Corps before joining IU in 1994 as a claims adjuster in the Office of Risk Management. While a Marine, his service involved several tours in the Far East, European, Mediterranean, African and mid-eastern theaters of operations.

IU Emergency Management and Continuity 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.

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The problem with pepper spray Thu, 16 Jun 2016 13:19:20 +0000 IUPD-Bloomington Chief Laury Flint

IUPD Bloomington Chief Laury Flint

It’s not uncommon for concerned parents to ask police officers for advice about arming soon-to-be new IU students with pepper spray. IU Police Department Bloomington Chief Laury Flint, to my surprise, told me that pepper spray can cause more problems than protection.

She recommends against students carrying it for the following reasons:

  • It can create a false sense of security that results in students taking risks they otherwise would have avoided, such as walking home alone or through unlit areas.
  • Students often carry pepper spray in their purses or backpacks, making it practically useless during an attack because of the time it takes to locate it, unlock it and aim.
  • It’s very difficult to use pepper spray effectively unless properly trained.
  • Pepper spray may be confiscated at events where bags are checked because accidental discharges can affect a large number of people.

“I want students to ‘buddy up,’” Flint said. “Stay with your friends when you’re out late. Take the bus or contact the Safety Escort.”

For more safety tips, visit Protect IU, which includes information about safety, emergency procedures and helpful contacts.

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.

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Marina’s safety tips for new students (she’s been there) Tue, 14 Jun 2016 19:28:34 +0000 Guest post by IU student Marina Allen, special projects intern for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

Congratulations on your acceptance to Indiana University! These next four years will be some of the best of your life, and I know you are excited to begin your journey. But before you become a full-time college student and take on campus, you owe it to yourself to be as ready as possible. You have done this academically, but now it is time to show that you can do it in a safety-oriented sense as well.

IU Student Marina Allen

IU student Marina Allen

Below, I have provided a few tips that might make your life a little easier during your first year. With great power comes great responsibility, and taking these steps will help you become an aware and prepared Hoosier.

  • Put your ID card back in its original spot right after you use it. Many freshmen, just as I did, forget their ID cards in various places, such as locking it in your room or leaving it on the table at the library. A good habit to get into is to always put your ID card back in the same spot you pulled it from immediately after you use it. Don’t set it on the printer for a few minutes. Don’t put it on your lunch tray in the cafeteria. Put it back in your wallet, purse, backpack or pocket before you do anything else. There’s nothing worse than having to walk home at night because you don’t have your ID to show to the Bloomington Transit bus driver, or having to wait by yourself outside for someone to let you back into your dorm room.
  • Avoid leaving your personal belongings out unattended. We’ve all run to another room while leaving our laptop open and have asked someone else to “watch it for us.” I hate to be negative, but I mean it when I say this isn’t a wise choice. While we should be able to expect students to be trustworthy, the reality is that some aren’t, and neither is the general public that also has access to many campus facilities. During the school year, the police department frequently receives calls about personal phones and laptops being stolen at the library or in residence halls while the student reported having walked away for five minutes. I realize it is inconvenient to pack up all of your stuff every time you use the restroom, but it needs to be done. It’s the difference between leaving the library with all of your possessions and filing a police report on items you most likely won’t see again.
  • Always tell a friend where you are going, and check on your friends in return. I tend to be the “mom” of my friend group. When people visited my dorm and had to walk home later on, I always told them to text me or call me when they made it safely. If I didn’t hear from them, I initiated the action and would contact them first. Make sure you always do this. Always tell others where you are going and when you expect to return, and let them know later if you plan on being late. This may sound silly, but it will make you and your friends worry less. It doesn’t matter whether you are going out to a party, to Jimmy John’s right down the street or out to your car. A few words of reassurance can result in trust building between your roommates, friends and peers, and keep us “moms” from having an unneeded heart attack!

As you might expect, there are many other tips that could have been listed. However, I personally have implemented these into my daily routine and have found them to be quite useful. Use your instincts and find what works best for you, but always be prepared for a variety of potentially dangerous situations.

Now, go have an awesome, and safe, first year of college!

Note: Marina Allen is a senior majoring in psychology. She is minoring in both criminal justice and law and public policy and is pre-law.

Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU falls under the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for IT and CIO.


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Over at the IU Police Academy … Thu, 09 Jun 2016 14:57:11 +0000 Guest post by Bailey Brand, public safety assistant for IU Public Safety

Cadets in the IU Police Academy spends six weeks learning in-depth information pertaining to criminal law from some of Monroe County’s current prosecutors. The criminal law course is divided among classroom instruction, prior and recent examples of case law, hands-on scenarios, and regularly administered quizzes. At the end of six weeks, cadets will take an intensive test, totaling 100 questions and covering the material presented.

Cadets performed some level of vehicle search during each their scenarios, only after explaining the type of search and the reason they would be perform the search. During these searches cadets located mock paraphernalia, “drugs,” and weapons.

Cadets performed some level of vehicle search during each of their scenarios, only after explaining the type of search and the reason they would be perform the search. During these searches cadets located mock paraphernalia, “drugs,” and weapons.

Topics covered include the definition and classification of crimes; the types of searches and their appropriate and legal uses; chain of custody; criminal proceedings; and the capacity of people who commit crimes. Cadets must also become familiar with the use of probable cause, the requirements of Miranda, arrest procedures, arrest and search warrants, and use of force applications, all while remembering their own criminal and civil liability as an officer. The value and importance of accuracy and articulation during the documentation process after incidents is continually reiterated during instruction.

Hands-on scenarios include staged incidents during which cadets are selected and must approach and handle based on legal precedent and their instruction. As cadets work through each scenario they must explain what actions they are choosing to take and why they are able to do so legally. The prosecutors and the academy instructors correct and inform cadets of the legally acceptable actions they should take and the potential implications of their actions during court proceedings.

IU’s Cadet Officer Program is thought to be the only one of its kind in the country. Full-time students on all of the campuses can apply and, if accepted, work part time as cadets for a year before going through the 14-week IU Police Academy held each summer.

If they graduate from the academy, which is one of six satellite academies of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield, they become certified law enforcement officers in the State of Indiana and work part time on their campus as fully sworn IU police officers while completing their IU degree. Pictures and updates of the cadets’ experiences this summer are posted to the IU Police Academy on Facebook

IUPD 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.

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42 IU students embark on important step toward law enforcement careers Tue, 10 May 2016 15:32:06 +0000 Guest post by Bailey Brand, public safety assistant for IU Public Safety

The 2016 IU Police Academy kicked off Monday by breaking records. This will be the first year that each of the eight Indiana University campuses has student representatives. It is the largest academy class with a whopping 42 cadets, and it contains the largest number of women — 11 — a figure that grows each year as women continue to establish a presence in law enforcement.

Cadets line up to perform their 1.5-mile run, a requirement by the Indiana Law Enformcement Academy physical fitness standards.

Cadets line up to perform their 1.5-mile run, a requirement by the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy physical fitness standards.

The IU Police Academy, which graduated its first class in 1972, is one of six satellite academies of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield. Cadets who graduate from the IU Police Academy become certified law enforcement officers in the state of Indiana as well as sworn IU Police Department officers, allowing them to graduate from IU with a college degree, law enforcement certification and job experience. After graduating from the academy, the students return to their campus as part-time officers and to resume their academic studies full time.

While criminal justice might seem like an obvious major for cadets at the academy – and many do major in this – it is not required; many cadets pursue other majors and minors. Other majors have included psychology, sociology, biology, history, business, international studies, public affairs, youth development, communications, and pre-law and pre-medical studies. Language majors and minors have included Spanish, Chinese, German and Swahili.

Cadets from a previous class practice taking measurements during training on motor vehicle accident investigation.

Cadets from a previous class practice takie measurements during training on motor vehicle accident investigation.

When out of the classroom and out of uniform, extracurricular activities for cadets and part-time officers can include recreational sports such as volleyball, hockey and IU’s Outdoor Adventures, an outdoor recreation program at IU Bloomington that provides training and experiences in environmental interaction. Cadets and part-time officers also focus on giving back to the IU community through participation in IU’s Dance Marathon, Young Professionals, student government such as IU Student Association Congress and the Department of Student Rights, and IU’s Greek organizations as members of fraternities and sororities.

The IU Police Academy regularly expands the content of its classroom instruction and hands-on training to include the most up-to-date and accurate curriculum and training available in the field.

This year promises to continue the trend by increasing content on topics such as diversity, sexual assault, mental illness and firearms. The expansion in these topics does not reduce the content or the quality of the instruction in fundamental areas such as criminal law, hazardous materials, vehicle crash investigations, and search and seizure training. Cadets will also continue daily physical fitness, which includes Crossfit and swimming, to not only ensure their overall health and safety but the safety of individuals they assist and interact with.

As we did last year, we’ll follow the cadets through their training so we can share some of their experiences through blogs, photographs, videos and interviews with the cadets and the instructors teaching them. Like and follow our social media accounts for the latest: IU Police Academy Facebook, Protect IU Facebook, Protect IU Instagram and Protect IU Twitter.

IUPD 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.

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Phishing scams impersonate senior administrators at IU Tue, 05 Apr 2016 18:37:57 +0000 Indiana University information security staff report that email scammers impersonating IU senior leadership have attempted to acquire sensitive personal data, monetary transfers and unauthorized purchases in recent months.

magnifying glass on a computer keyboard

Scrutinize unexpected emails and those asking for personal information to avoid getting scammed.

IU officials urge employees to keep on the lookout for phishing scams such as these and others that are particularly common around April’s tax-filing deadline.

The security news publication Krebs on Security describes a scam targeting CEOs and their human resources staff nationwide. Email purportedly from the CEO asks the human resource director for employee W2 forms, potentially giving the scammers enough information to file false tax claims in the name of these employees. The Wall Street Journal wrote about the same fraud on Sunday, reporting that many corporations had fallen victim to the scam. At IU, the scam was detected before any information was released.

Officials urge caution

Here are a few tips and questions IU employees can ask themselves to avoid being phished:

  • Are you expecting an email of this nature (e.g., password reset, account expiration, wire transfer, travel confirmation, etc.)?
  • Does the message ask for any personal information? (password, credit cards, Social Security Number, etc.)
  • Hover your mouse over the links in the email. Does the hover-text link match what’s in the actual text? Do the actual links look like a site with which you would normally do business?
  • Click “Reply.” Does the address in the “To” field match the sender of the message?
  • If the message purports to be from an IU email account or device, check the email headers. All messages originating outside the IU Network will include the text The presence of this text most likely indicates the message is not coming from a legitimate IU sender.

If you’re not sure about the legitimacy of an email message, report it to with the full email headers so IU cybersecurity experts can investigate.

This information can also be found on Protect IU.

The University Information Security Office and the University Information Policy Office are 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.


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I shouldn’t expect to hear the sirens indoors? Really?! Wed, 30 Mar 2016 21:01:21 +0000 Judging from the feedback we received after Operation Stormy Weather, a lot of people are like me and thought outdoor sirens should be heard indoors, too, to alert us to oncoming tornadoes.

IU_Notify_1254x931_px_RGBMy emergency management and continuity colleagues quickly set me straight – the sirens are called OUTDOOR warning sirens for a reason.

“If you are located near a siren you MAY hear it indoors, but DO NOT expect to hear them indoors,” said Ken Long, emergency management and continuity interim director at IU Bloomington. “They are meant to be used as outdoor warnings.”

Outdoor warning sirens – not “tornado sirens.” Long pointed out that some sirens are used for more than tornadoes. Some, like those at IU Bloomington, have voice capability and can provide messages and direct people to more information.

This outdoor-indoor factor surprised me because for most of my life outdoor sirens could wake me up from a dead sleep – so I just assumed they were supposed to. Until recently, however, I’ve lived in older homes and apartments typically constructed in the ‘40s or ‘50s. Now, I can barely hear the siren in my newer home unless I open a door or window.

My colleagues say this is why it’s important to take advantage of newer technology, such as National Weather Service radios, to have several types of warning systems, rather than just relying on outdoor warning sirens.

IU warns students and staff of tornadoes by sending an IU-Notify emergency notification. Receiving notifications by text is the quickest and most reliable way to receive them. Students and staff can check their IU-Notify settings by searching for IU-Notify in to make sure they’re receiving the text notifications.

Bill Smith, emergency management and continuity director for IU’s regional campuses, said the following alert systems are available:

• Enhanced warning sirens, providing a greater coverage area of outdoor warning.
• National Weather service radios, which are programmable to your specific location or threat type.
• Emergency Alert System, a geographically specific national broadcast alert system provided by NOAA.
• More advanced weather monitoring systems, typically requiring a subscription, that allow individuals or organizations to sign up for alerts.
• Smart Phone application that can be downloaded and adjusted to monitor your current location for threatening weather.

New technology has greatly increased the accuracy of storm prediction, Smith said, allowing for advanced warnings and more effective responses by individuals. But none of the warning systems is perfect. The best approach, he said, is to use several systems that can overlap and complement each other.

Sirens, by the way, initially were erected in 1950 as part of the Civil Defense Act and were considered an alert mechanism in case of atomic warfare. They started being used for tornado or other emergencies in the ‘70s.

IU Emergency Management and Continuity 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.

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Spring break and Zika virus: What you should know Wed, 09 Mar 2016 05:35:41 +0000 Zika virus continues to raise alarms. Causing mild or no symptoms in some people, it is linked to the birth defect microcephaly, which can cause brain damage, and to Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause paralysis.

mosquito that spreads Zika virusZika virus is of particular concern to women who are pregnant or who could become pregnant. Michael Jenson, director of Indiana University Environmental Health and Safety, said in an Inside IUPUI article that it’s important to be informed if traveling to affected areas.

Jenson said it’s important that people understand the potential risks associated with Zika, but also that there are limits to the problems.

“To date, there have been no reported cases of transmission of the virus from mosquitoes to people in the U.S.,” Jenson said. “There have been cases, however, reported in travelers returning to the U.S.”

Jenson also said it is important to know that people can bring Zika home with them, and men can transmit it to a sexual partner. Safe-sex precautions for at least a couple of weeks after returning home are recommended, he noted.

“If you’re not pregnant, it usually is a relatively minor illness,” Jenson added. “But if travelers think they might be pregnant, or want to become pregnant, they might want to think twice about the trip.”

The environmental health and safety expert said the best way to see if Zika is affecting a place they want to visit is to explore the Center for Disease Control’s travel website.”

Read the full article for tips for avoiding the Zika virus during and after a trip to an affected area. Learn more about Zika virus and other communicable diseases, such as mumps and measles, at Protect IU.

IU Environmental Health and 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.

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Crime prevention and safety tips for spring break Fri, 04 Mar 2016 19:38:18 +0000 When traveling abroad or domestically, safety precautions and common sense can help you enjoy your trip to the max.

Airport terminalThe Indiana University Police Department recommends that travelers take some steps before they leave to make their residences less attractive to potential burglars. This includes hiding valuables, such as computers and game stations, leaving a porch light on, closing blinds and curtains and using a timer to manipulate inside lights.

Many of the tips police urge students and staff to practice on campus are also helpful while traveling.

“If something just doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t and you should act upon that feeling. Don’t just blow it off,” said Bob True, interim superintendent of public safety at IU. “Don’t leave items unattended. Don’t leave things visible in locked automobiles, and do watch out for your friends. Make sure everyone is safe when you are out on the town.”

Here are some tips for foreign travel:

  • As you’re packing, think twice about taking valuables. If they’re not essential, they’re better off left at home. This will make your bags lighter and you’ll be more agile, which can deter potential thieves.
  • Scan your passport and travel documents and email them to yourself so you can easily access the copies if your documents are lost or stolen.
  • Take the international phone number for your bank or credit cards because the 1-800 numbers used in the United States won’t work in foreign countries.
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary with someone at home, but don’t share details of your travel plans with others you meet while traveling.
  • Buy a money belt (not a fanny pack) to carry your money and passport underneath your clothes.

Here are some tips for domestic travel:

  • Blend in as much as possible. Walking around with a camera around your neck and a guidebook in your hand advertises your tourist status and may make you a mark for thieves. Try to be discreet.
  • Choose ATMs in malls or stores if possible. Avoid using ATMs at night or in deserted places. When you withdraw money from an ATM, put it away immediately.
  • Carry only the cash you need for the moment in your pocket or purse. Carry your passport, credit card and extra money inside your clothes in a money belt, or leave them in your hotel’s safe. When you need to get something out of your money belt, do it in a private place.
  • Exercise particular caution when in crowds, in markets or on public transportation. Pickpockets can be very crafty and sometimes work in pairs — one person will distract you while another takes your wallet.
  • Ask your hotel manager or another knowledgeable person if there are some areas of the city you should avoid.

The IUPD Indianapolis has published Personal Security Guidelines for Overseas Travel. A recent blog post discusses ways to protect mobile devices and data while traveling.

IUPD 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.

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Protecting your mobile devices — and data — begins before you travel Mon, 22 Feb 2016 14:42:55 +0000 If you’re traveling during spring break, Indiana University’s data security experts say there are steps you can take before you leave – in addition to during your travels – to make sure you’re not haunted by cyberattacks long after you return.

Vacation spelled out on a beachThey offer a range of suggestions, such as backing up the data on your smartphones and tablets, avoiding “juice jacking” and, as always, being wary of what you’re sharing when using unfamiliar wireless networks.

They urge the use of encryption and even recommend that some people consider bringing loaner devices.

Check out their tips before you leave for a little peace of mind later. IUPD provides travel safety and security tips, too.

The University Information Security Office 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.

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Reducing cyber threats at IU: a multi-layered, proactive undertaking Tue, 16 Feb 2016 15:35:41 +0000 IU’s Todd Herring, writing for EdTech, helps put into perspective one of the challenges facing universities as they secure their cyber borders:

Daniel Calarco

Daniel Calarco

“Establishing information technology best practices within a university setting has been, and continues to be, no easy task. Unlike accounting practices, which evolved over centuries, IT erupted over the course of a few decades.”

Herring and other IT leaders at Indiana University were quoted or featured in publications this month providing insights and leadership about cybersecurity issues facing higher education:

  • Brad Wheeler, vice president for information technology and CIO, and Daniel Calarco, chief of staff, prepared a case study for EDUCAUSE Review about IU’s efforts to adopt a policy for cyber risk mitigation and responsibility. They wrote, “The policy is already achieving its primary goal: to reduce the threat surface area of the university’s many servers, which are potential targets for bad actors (identity thieves, hackers, and countries looking to steal intellectual property).”
  • Herring is director of membership services for Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or REN-ISAC. His article provides a historical perspective for IT security in higher education but also some frank observations of challenges (funding, political/cultural resistance) faced by IT pros at a departmental level. His article also provides resources.
  • Kim Milford, director of REN-ISAC, was quoted in a Chronicle of Higher Education article that does a nice job explaining the vulnerabilities of the U.S. Department of Education databases – making sense of congressional hearings that featured “highly technical testimony from government investigators,” along with “anger and acronyms.”

Kim Milford

Kim Milford

As Wheeler and Calarco point out in their piece, IU “is home to nearly 115,000 students, 9,000 faculty, and 11,000 staff across eight campuses … Despite the university’s approaches to multi-layered defense, the collective cyber threat surface area is vast.”

These articles and insights all point to proactive steps university IT leaders have taken. Prompted by no major incident, they instead have worked to reduce the likelihood of such an incident occurring at IU. While it is impossible to eliminate risk, the “threat surface” can be reduced one angle at a time.

“The Internet, by its very nature, is a community,” Milford said. “Steps that IU takes to protect our environment help protect other organizations (and vice versa) by reducing access to unmanaged computers and by providing guidance through information sharing communities like REN-ISAC.”

REN-ISAC is based at IU and affiliated with 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.

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‘Run Hide Fight’ good to know whether you use it or not Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:43:38 +0000

Butler University in Indianapolis released a video this week describing the Run Hide Fight model for surviving an active shooter situation – it’s the same strategy Indiana University Emergency Management and Continuity and IUPD promote to students and staff.

The video IU uses, which can be viewed on the Protect IU homepage, is worth the 6 minutes it takes to watch because the strategies can be used in settings on or off campus. During trainings with students and staff, IUEMC and IUPD staff discuss the importance of running away from the gunfire if possible. If not, they discuss how students and staff can hide or barricade themselves in classrooms, offices or other areas. As a last resort, if the gunman is nearby, one must consider fighting and disabling the gunman.

“An active shooter or hostile intruder is one of the many hazards you are likely to face in your lifetime (including fire, tornado, etc.), so if you don’t know what to do, then you should learn,” said John Summerlot, emergency management coordinator at IU Bloomington. “Once you learn it, you can remember it in the same manner as ‘Stop, Drop, and Roll.’ We don’t teach ‘Stop, Drop, and Roll’ because you’re likely to catch on fire at some point in your life. We teach it because on the off chance that you do, it could save your life. Same with “Run. Hide. Fight.”

IUEMC staff have conducted around 40 training sessions for involving Run Hide Fight this school year and have more scheduled this semester. Police also conduct the training. To arrange for training for your student group, department or office, contact your campus IUPD. Or, you can contact IUEMC.

IUEMC and IUPD are part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU, 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.

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New online data privacy tutorial useful, brief Mon, 01 Feb 2016 21:04:19 +0000 Guest post by IU student Marina Allen, special projects intern for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

As a college student at Indiana University, I constantly have access to online resources and data outlets. Whether it is for completing homework assignments, conducting research, or just simply browsing the web, you can almost always find me with my laptop open and important information on my screen. Clearly, I am well aware that I spend many hours a day viewing and interacting with some seriously significant property. But, what I didn’t know is how imperative it really is to keep personal and private material locked up under secure conditions.

laptops and other devices need special care to protect data

laptop, cellphone and graphic tablet on the table

Recently, I completed the IU Data Protection & Privacy Tutorial available through’s E Training application (choose university-wide catalog and University Privacy Office). I began the tutorial assuming it would be full of elaborate vocabulary and geared towards staff and faculty, but was pleasantly surprised just 15 short minutes later. I learned a lot about data privacy and came across some useful suggestions that benefit IU students, including myself!

One of the first new pieces of information I encountered was how four separate data classifications at IU existed. Coming from a girl who is not in the School of Informatics and Computing (or tech-savvy at all, really), I was surprised to find out there were so many different titles to categorize the “access, handling, and proper disposal of data:”

  • Public – This is information that has little to no restrictions of access (i.e. Class schedules)
  • University Internal – This type of data is for the use of campus employees, as well as designated representatives of the university (i.e. University ID)
  • Restricted – This category contains information that requires specific authorization to access (i.e. Full date of birth, ethnicity, and citizenship)
  • Critical – This is data that requires authorization to access as well, but is considered the highest level of protection (i.e. Social Security number)

I knew my personal information through the university was important, but had no idea how it was classified. Luckily, the best way to be prepared is to become informed, and learning how to handle this information carefully can put us all at a higher probability of putting away our private material for safekeeping.

Simple suggestions that were mentioned, such as protecting your IU passphrase, always keeping lock screens and passcodes activated on devices, and encrypting email, may seem obvious to some, but how many of us honestly take the time to utilize safe steps, such as these, to ensure our information isn’t accessible in dangerous places?

Guilty as charged.

By completing the Data Protection and Privacy Tutorial, we can all learn to avoid taking unnecessary risks in letting our personal data fall into the wrong hands. The tutorial provides helpful insights to help expand your knowledge and awareness of how important your personal information really is. Plus, if you wish to further your understanding of the topics presented in the presentation, extra links and resources are provided.

Not just college students, but individuals everywhere could benefit from understanding what their personal data really means and the best ways to keep it safe. If you want to learn how to better protect your information, and have an extra 15 minutes, complete the Data Protection & Privacy Tutorial available through You’ll become better educated and more aware of how to keep your private records…well, private!

More resources:

Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU falls under the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for IT and CIO.

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So many passwords!?! Thu, 28 Jan 2016 17:55:22 +0000 Guest contribution by IU senior Mel Lent, communications intern for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

How can you make sure your passwords are safe, yet accessible?

To get some recommendations, I talked to Andrew Korty, an information security expert with the University Information Security Office at IU. He said there are a variety of ways to make better passwords and remember them, but a few key ways he mentioned stood out.

Worst password ever -- but surprisingly common

Worst password ever — but surprisingly common

His personal approach is to use 1Password, a password safe. He said you have to be careful about the online password safes, and he prefers this particular service because of its strong cryptography and local hosting. The strength of the cryptography deals with how difficult it would be for others to “crack the code” and gain access to your information, while local hosting makes it difficult for people to gain access to your passwords if they do not have access to your devices. Furthermore, 1Password allows him to share a second vault with family for shared accounts.

He said 1Password has the added benefit of filling in his passwords automatically on the correct sites, preventing potential “attacker-installed software from sniffing [his] strokes,” or someone looking over his shoulder from seeing what he was typing.

1Password has several strong features, as pointed out by its website. For starters, it has a simple user interface, and it functions across both Mac and Windows operating systems. This is useful for people who use both systems in different parts of their lives, like home versus work, boosting accessibility. The vault is hosted locally on your devices, making it much more secure than several cloud-based competitors. Lastly, it can generate random passwords for you, taking the guesswork out of making a strong password yourself.

If a password safe isn’t for you, Korty said you can just use a random password generator and a memory aid in its place. One suggestion he had was to start with a number that means something to you (for example, your birthday), and then to make your passphrase the first sentence of that numbered page of your favorite book. This way, no one knows the reference but you, and you have your password physically on hand.

If you prefer a more randomized approach, he recommends using DiceWARE, a service that generates passwords from strings of random words chosen using dice, compiled to form final random passphrases. As for remembering these passwords, he referenced a tip from his father: “Start by pairing numbers and physical objects that rhyme, like 1 is a gun, 2 is a shoe” and imagining these visuals in conjunction with the parts of one’s passphrase. This is formally called the Peg System.

Lastly, to bring in my personal experience making passwords, I use a homemade formula to create and remember my passwords. It can be something simple, but the underlying principle is much like the one in making random strings of words: to all people other than you, passwords appear random. The only difference here is that I made my formula so that my passwords have significance to me and only me, and are easier for me to recall with less aid. Using a formula is NOT the same as using one password for all sites, and if you do use only one password for all sites, you are putting yourself at far greater risk than if you used individual passwords. An example formula could be: species of animal, number of significance to you, mood you are currently in. The longer and more varied your formula, the more secure your passphrase is.

Overall, a password safe with strong cryptography is your most secure option, as long as you can remember your master password. Using either formula-generated random passwords or online-generated random passwords can work quite well, instead — provided you have the proper mnemonic device in place to help out when recalling them.

UISO is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU, 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.

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Movies about data privacy Tue, 26 Jan 2016 15:49:35 +0000 In today’s world, it’s hard to go a day without engaging in activities that collect personal information. We may add that information ourselves via social media such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or Instagram. Or, we may simply be living life without realizing the amount of data that is automatically collected and stored about us and our activities.

Movie: Terms and Conditions May Apply“Simple things such as making cell phone calls, going to the doctor, using your credit card, driving through a stoplight that has a camera and browsing in a store that’s tracking customers via their cell phones can result in your personal information being collected and stored,” said IU Chief Privacy Officer Sara Chambers. “In situations where you do have an option to control the amount of information collected or shared, you may want to consider the following questions: ‘What is the minimum information required? How long will it be retained? What is it being used for? Will it be shared? Who will have access to it? What other information is being combined with it? Can I delete or remove it?'”

In many cases, however, we have no control over where and how that information is collected and secured. Below are some thought-provoking movies that help to put some perspective on how important digital information is to personal safety and freedoms.

The Net (Sandra Bullock)

Terms and Conditions May Apply (Documentary)

Citizen Four (Documentary about Edward Snowden)

Code 2600

Minority Report (Tom Cruise)

Indiana University is a “champion” for Data Privacy Day, held each year on Jan. 28. The theme for Data Privacy Day is “Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust.” The annual cyber event is part of the year-round educational efforts of the National Cyber Security Alliance, which works to raise awareness about the safe and secure use of the Internet at work, home and school.

Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the Jan. 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection.

Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU, 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.

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Two-factor authentication for social media worth considering Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:06:20 +0000 Guest contribution by Al Joco, lead security analyst in the University Information Security Office at IU. IU is participating in Data Privacy Day on Jan. 28 and sharing security and privacy tips throughout the week.

In August, Facebook pages belonging to the University of Michigan were hacked, with intruders posting racy content before either the university’s athletics or IT departments were able to respond.

In April, entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Twitter account was broken into, along with the Twitter account for his company, Tesla Motors. The attackers posted random tweets, including one pretending to offer a free car to people who called the phone number in the tweet.

Turnon2FAIn February, Chipotle’s Twitter account was taken over, with a Nazi swastika logo posted along with a flurry of hateful and racist tweets.

And in 2014, the IU Office of Enrollment Management’s Twitter account was taken over, forcing the deletion of many spamming tweets from their timeline.

These intrusions are far from the only examples; many individuals and groups suffer social media account hacks that never make the news. The IT security research firm Kaspersky Labs published a finding that 1 out of every 4 Internet users responding to their survey had suffered a hacked account, with 11 percent of those respondents saying it was their social media account that had been broken into. Worse yet, some respondents said they had not used strong passwords, nor had they enabled strong privacy controls. If the study is indeed representative of all Internet users, many people have exposed themselves to losing control of their social media accounts.

There are many ways to protect social media accounts. One of the best controls available now is two-factor authentication, or “2FA”. 2FA involves not just using a password to access an account, but also providing some other piece of information during login, most often a temporary, one-time code sent to you via email or text. Social media companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Tumblr are increasingly adopting this method for strengthening an account’s security.

Setting it up is not difficult in most cases. Twitter’s instructions can be found in its blog. Facebook calls its method “login approvals.” Some other social media sites’ security settings:

Instructions for other sites can be found simply through Web searches.

2FA is possible even with multiple users on one group or organizational account (for example, a firm’s PR department using Twitter). It does take some setup work, however, since most social media sites are designed around a single account corresponding to a single individual.

The way to use 2FA in these account cases would vary depending on the site. Facebook, for example, would require you to create either a “page” or a “group” – which cannot be logged into directly – then assign the proper page role to individual Facebook account holders to allow them to post and perform other tasks. At that point, Facebook’s login approval can be enabled for those individuals.

Twitter, unfortunately, does not have any way to do this using only its interface and nothing else; you would have to pay for service from the company Grouptweet to allow multiple users to Tweet from a single account, add other individuals’ Twitter accounts as “contributors” then enable 2FA for those individual accounts as well as the company/group/organizational one. That way, everybody has to use 2FA to enter the account, but no one has to share phones or passwords.

Unfortunately, many social media sites still do not yet have 2FA options available. There are several lists published on the Web listing whether a site offers it or not; two examples are found at’s “How to enable two factor authentication on 50 top websites.” If 2FA is available for the social media service, it’s a good idea to use it. Otherwise, you run the risk of having to spend lots of time regaining control of your account, cleaning up posts that aren’t yours and having to contact people to let them know the tasteless joke, scandalous image or offensive post was not yours.

The UISO is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU, 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.

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Where’s the snow? Don’t worry — it will be back Fri, 15 Jan 2016 16:33:37 +0000 Guest post by IU student Marina Allen, special projects intern for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

While many of us deeply hoped for a snow-filled holiday, Old Man Winter had selective hearing until just this past weekend. The powdery goodness that covered our campuses was enjoyable to admire through a window next to a roaring fireplace, but most students will agree with me when I say it seemed to lose its angelic quality after having to trudge in it for just a few minutes.

IU student Marina Allen

IU student Marina Allen

But, whether you like it or not, you must brave the icy conditions — and they will be back — in order to get to that organic chemistry lab you so anxiously signed up to take! 😉 Professors and their in-lecture notes don’t wait for the snow to stop falling, so it’s up to us to find a way to get there. Luckily, I have just what you need!

While we can’t make the snow disappear, we do have the power to make it a little more endurable! In order to get from Point A to Point B on foot, a few helpful tips for your journey across the frozen tundra this term are listed below.

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes (and every other part of your body, too)

Mom knew best when she used to roll you up like a burrito in an assortment of sweaters, scarves and pants. In order to stay as warm as possible, one can never layer enough! While I may not wear five sweatshirts like I did as a kid, I always make sure I wear a long-sleeved shirt of some kind under a well-insulated coat (not jacket!). Besides the basics, other tricks include double layering your socks and your gloves. While closed-toed snow boots do most of the work, it’s never a bad thing to have a little extra padding.

And, it wouldn’t hurt to throw an extra pair of any small articles in your backpack, such as gloves, hats or scarves. These additional items can become extremely helpful if anything becomes wet from the snow, or can be provided to a pal who forgot theirs at home. Your frozen fingers will thank you, and so will your friend!

Hand warmers, hand warmers, hand warmers

Why didn’t I think of this sooner? These are such lifesavers in cold conditions, so stocking up and using them for in-between class commutes could make all the difference. There are many times that I have walked to and from class and wished I had something like these to use. All it takes is one time of activating those puppies to realize how much you’ve been lacking!

Available at most local grocery stores and pharmacies, hand warmers are an affordable way to ensure you stay as comfortable and warm as possible. They usually radiate heat for a fairly long period of time, so a day full of walking shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, they make them for feet, too!

Preparation is key

Showing up for a test without studying is a bad idea, right? The same can be said when heading out on a wintery afternoon without looking up weather conditions, which is why it is always a good idea to look up the daily weather forecast!

  • If you use Twitter, you can receive weather alerts for your campus. Find the account on Protect IU.
  • Each county in the state of Indiana has its own emergency management agency that often posts weather alerts and warnings for their individual areas. This could be useful in understanding what the conditions are going to be like for the day on campus, rather than just an unspecific overview. The Travel Advisory app, available on the Google Play Store and iPhone App Store, lets you see on your phone the same county travel advisories provided by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
  • Commuters may also want to check out the Indiana Department of Transportation’s TrafficWise website. This website provides real-time traffic data and live footage of major highways around the state, making motorists everywhere more informed of what they might face during their drive.

While this is not an all-encompassing list of every way one can winter-fy oneself, it’s a solid foundation that is sure to help you during these snowy months. Most of these tricks appear obvious, but are often overlooked and yearned for later when we realize we don’t have them. Reference these hints all winter long, and your Spring 2016 semester will surely be off to a warm, toasty start!

Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU falls under the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for IT and CIO.

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Police, first-responders to get heroin overdose antidote Fri, 08 Jan 2016 21:56:07 +0000 Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said this week that Indiana is in crisis mode concerning opioid/heroin addiction and overdose. With overdoses and deaths on the rise, he and health experts (many volunteers) across the state are working to put a fast-acting antidote into the hands of first responders like police, firefighters and correctional officers.

police carsZoeller announced on Thursday that law enforcement agencies and first responders in Monroe, Brown, Lawrence and Jackson counties would be among those receiving “kits” during the first wave of funding designed to provide responders with naloxone, a fast-acting antidote that temporarily reverses the deadly effects of opioids such as heroine and prescription painkillers such as morphine, oxycodone, codeine and hydrocodone.

I attended Thursday’s press conference in Bloomington and a train-the-trainer session at IUPD-Bloomington Wednesday night where police and correctional officers from several agencies learned how to administer naloxone and how to recognize an opioid overdose, among other things.

At both events, speakers talked about compassion. Almost 80 percent of heroin addicts, they noted, started their opioid use with a prescription. Zoeller said significant efforts are being made to address over-prescribing of prescription painkillers and to reduce the availability of these powerful drugs, but the demand will remain – at least for the short-term — which is why he cautioned that inexpensive heroin use could increase before the situation improves.

“We’re just trying to save lives at this point,” he said. “We’ve lost too many.”

Zoeller also discussed at both events the often unrecognized life-saving role police play. IUPD officers, for example, carry automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in every patrol car. Officers are often first on the scene when a few minutes can mean the difference between life and death. In Bloomington, for example, an IUPD officer was credited with saving the life of an infant after performing CPR while he and another officer awaited an ambulance.

“You guys already serve and protect,” Zoeller said at Wednesday’s training session. “Now it’s serve, protect and save.”

This WIBC report states that Indianapolis Metropolitan police have administered naloxone almost 150 times in the last two years.

Heroin and opioid overdose has not been seen as a problem at IU but Jerry Minger, superintendent of public safety at IU, noted that the university’s campuses are each located in a city and that the student demographic is one of risk-takers. He said he is “extremely excited” about having the kits and training for officers so that they have a solution if the need arises.

Thursday’s announcement involved an area encompassing the Bloomington campus. The other campuses will be able to work with other partners in Zoeller’s initiative to receive the kits.


  • Opioids, such as heroin, codeine and oxycodone depress the nervous system to the extent that people can lose the drive to breath and just stop breathing. It causes feelings of euphoria and warmth. The body builds a tolerance after use.
  • Side effects include nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, lethargy, itching, dry mouth, constipation, a bluish tint to lips and skin and small pupils.
  • Naloxone only works on opioids and causes no harm – or benefit — to individuals if they overdosed on non-opioids, such as LSD, cocaine or ecstasy.
  • The effect of naloxone is temporary, lasting about an hour, which is why emergency medical assistance must be called when it is administered.
  • Opioid painkillers and heroin caused at least one third of the drug overdose deaths in Indiana in 2013, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.
  • Zoeller’s initiative is funded with proceeds from a legal settlement with a pharmaceutical company, not taxpayer money.

Who is at risk of overdosing?  Anyone who uses an opioid, even taking it as prescribed. People at greatest risk include those released from jail who are “clean” but begin using again; elderly patients because of their metabolism; children who get into unsecured medication; people who take the drugs from someone else and patients who use their prescription incorrectly.

Read coverage in the Indiana Daily Student and the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The Indiana University Police Department is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU, 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.

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Andy Stephenson assumes operations captain role at IUPD Bloomington Wed, 16 Dec 2015 20:08:37 +0000 Andy Stephenson, a Bloomington native, IU alum and veteran IU Police Department officer, has been promoted to operations captain of the IUPD Bloomington division.

Capt. Andy Stephenson

Capt. Andy Stephenson

“This is a challenge and an opportunity that I have been preparing for for many years,” Stephenson said. “I look forward to working with a fantastic group of employees. The campus community is very fortunate to have such a dedicated and professional staff of security and law enforcement officers, dispatchers and clerical personnel who work tirelessly to keep us safe.”

As captain, Stephenson will oversee the operations division, which includes the detective and daily patrol units. He will continue assisting with the planning of major campus events, which is where many on the IU Bloomington campus have gotten to know Stephenson, and he will also serve as the IUPD Bloomington division’s federal Clery Act coordinator, working with other supervisors and officials.

Some of his goals include increased community engagement and a more proactive approach to policing. While officers’ compassion and professionalism are important for solid policing, Stephenson said all members of the campus community need to work together to “both solve and prevent safety issues on our campus.”

Stephenson was promoted this month after serving 18 years full-time for IUPD-Bloomington.

“Qualities that made Andy stand out as a great candidate included his calm, intellectual demeanor, maturity, and his answers on how he would resolve challenges and issues he might face in the new position,” said Doug Johnson, deputy chief of IUPD Bloomington. “Above all, the committee was impressed with Andy’s professionalism, which ultimately landed him the promotion.”

Originally from Bloomington, Stephenson graduated from Bloomington North High School and played football during college.

“When the NFL didn’t come knocking on my door, I returned to IU to finish my undergraduate degree,” he said. “I became involved in the IUPD cadet program.”

He graduated first in his class from the IU Police Academy in 1996 and earned his master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University. After joining IUPD Bloomington full time in 1997, Stephenson was promoted to lieutenant in 2010 and attended the FBI National Academy in 2015. He never doubted his career choice.

“I was always interested in a career in law enforcement,” Stephenson said. “There was nothing else I considered.”

The Indiana University Police Department is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU, 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.

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PPE fashionistas: The picture of safety Wed, 16 Dec 2015 14:34:13 +0000 PPE Top Models IUPD-Bloomington Officer Chris Collins and his K9 partner, Tery

PPE Top Models IUPD Bloomington officer Chris Collins and his K9 partner, Tery

IU Environmental Health and Safety is pleased to introduce our PPE Top Models. Chris Collins and his furry partner Tery, with the Indiana University Police Department Bloomington, received nearly one in four votes, earning the title of PPE Top Models for PPE Fashion Week: Personal Protective Equipment IU-Style.

In the picture – one of 43 submitted for the photo contest – they sport body armor. Collins graduated from the IU Police Academy in 2006 and joined the department full time in 2009. Tery, a male, full-bred German shepherd from Holland, joined the department two years later and is trained to detect bombs. His body armor was donated by a private citizen.

IU East nursing students

IU East nursing students

“I like to think that Tery is the brains of the operation, which would make me the dapper part of the duo,” Collins said. “Yet people always ask ‘Where’s Tery?’ when they see me alone, so I may need to rethink this.”

First and second runners-up feature students and staff from the School of Nursing and Health Services at IU East and IU South Bend Health and Wellness. The pictures submitted for the contest show more than 70 employees in high PPE style.

“PPE is important for the patient and the staff’s safety,” said Cassandra Brown, a sophomore at IU East. “PPE protects from communicable diseases.”

The picture submitted for IU South Bend Health and Wellness was a group shot, too.

IU South Bend Health and Wellness

IU South Bend Health and Wellness

“Safety is not an individualistic idea but a collectivist one. There is always safety in numbers,” said business professor Anurag Pant, who is featured in the picture.

“We are safe only when we all join in,” he said. “United we are safe; divided we all suffer. We are only as safe as the weakest link in our organization.”

More about the contest and personal protective equipment

IU Environmental Health and 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.


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Close blinds, leave on a light or two — and other holiday crime prevention tips from IUPD Wed, 09 Dec 2015 18:19:17 +0000 If you’re heading out of town for the holidays or staying put, Indiana University Police Department has suggestions for keeping your stuff and yourself safe.

Car loaded with belongings“It’s even more important over break, when fewer people are on campus, to be aware of your surroundings,” IUPD Bloomington Capt. Andy Stephenson said. “Don’t walk around with earphones in. Be more cautious if walking alone at night.”

Especially during break but also throughout the year, students should get into the habit of locking their residence hall and apartment doors at night and even during the day while they are home.

“We urge caution if someone unexpected comes over – especially at odd hours, like 3-4 a.m. Don’t open the door,” Stephenson said. “You can talk through the door. If they need assistance, you can call police.”

Here are more tips:

  • Take game stations, computers and other valuables home with you. Thefts increase dramatically over breaks because criminals know many residences are vacant. “Anything considered valuable should be taken home,” Stephenson said.
  • Deter thieves by leaving a porch light on, closing blinds and curtains to make it harder to look into residences, and use a timer to turn lights on and off.
  • Make sure valuables are not visible in vehicles or residences. This includes bringing bicycles inside. Keep vehicles locked, as well.

The Indiana University Police Department is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU, 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.

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Vote — and stock up Thu, 19 Nov 2015 19:55:54 +0000 Have you voted for PPE Top Model? Please vote here, where you’ll see pictures of more than 70 Indiana University employees – and one police dog – wearing personal protective equipment that helps protect them on the job.

PPE Fashion Week: Personal Protective Equipment IU-Style, gave IU employees a chance to show what kind of PPE they use in a wide range of positions on campuses across the state. These items, such as hearing and eye protection, hard hats, gloves and boots, are good to keep around the home, too, says Bill Smith, director of emergency management and continuity for IU’s regional campuses.

“Do you wear latex gloves when you clean? Eye protection is important when using a wide range of power tools, such as saws and drill presses,” he said.

PPE should be part of emergency kits, too, to be at hand if disaster strikes.

“If you have to evacuate, having simple paper filter masks could be helpful for breathing in smoky or dusty environments for short periods of time,” Smith said. “It’s easy to pick up a box of rubber gloves. These are pretty simple items to find.”

The top vote-getters for PPE Fashion Week will be featured on the Protect IU homepage.

Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Management and Continuity are part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU, 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.

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From construction-style to lab-style, PPE is all the fashion at IU Mon, 09 Nov 2015 15:28:23 +0000 Personal protective equipment may not seem like Haute Couture, but wearing the correct PPE at work could mean the difference between a productive day and sliced fingers or burning eyes.

IU employees model Personal Protective Equipment

How many items of PPE can you spot? More than 10?

Indiana University Environmental Health and Safety is highlighting the importance of correct and consistent PPE use with a picture contest, PPE Fashion Week: Personal Protective Equipment IU-Style. Employees who send a picture of themselves in their PPE to will be added to a ballot for PPE Top model. Top vote-getters will be featured on Protect IU. Pictures will be shared on social media throughout the week of Nov. 9-13.

“There are lots of risks out there that can be eliminated or greatly reduced by using personal protective equipment,” said Mike Jenson, university director for Environmental Health and Safety. “It may not be high fashion, but at the end of the day, if you go home without injuries and scars, you look marvelous.”

PPE can be seen across all of IU’s campuses, from the dining halls to the research labs. Lab coats and protective gloves may come to mind. Bagel slicers, shin guards, flame-retardant jackets and hard hats are also PPE. Welding helmets, face shields, goggles, footwear, ear plugs and respirators are common types, as well.

IU employees model Tyvek clean room suits, head covers, particulate respirators and safety glasses.

Beau Middaugh and Chris Mahalek rock the Tyvek clean room suits, head covers, particulate respirators and safety glasses.

The university’s PPE Policy, along with theLab Safety Policy (written about here) was adopted at the beginning of 2015. The policies are the result of IUEHS staff reviewing the policies, programs and practices occurring on all the campuses and consolidating them into one set of universally applied standards. The EHS offices on the various campuses were combined into one department two years ago.

IUEHS is responsible for monitoring PPE use to make sure employees and the university comply with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements and standards created by the American National Standards Institute. In other words, PPE use, where determined necessary to help keep employees safe, is a requirement – not optional.

But it’s also oh, so fashionable, in a nerdy sort of way.

Learn more about PPE at Protect IU. Email your pictures, which can be taken with a cell phone, to Tracy James, communication manager for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance. IUEHS is part of PSIA, 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.

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Raising IU’s risk IQ Mon, 26 Oct 2015 16:55:49 +0000 Guest post courtesy of Mark Bruhn, associate vice president for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU.

What sorts of events or circumstances threaten Indiana University’s ability to satisfy its core missions? That is, what sorts of conditions would dramatically reduce our ability to teach, conduct research and serve the community?

Thanks to the efforts of Merri Beth Lavagnino, university leadership is gaining a good understanding of how to think in those terms.

Merri Beth Lavagnino

Merri Beth Lavagnino

As IU’s chief risk officer, Lavagnino has the job of guiding IU leaders in understanding strategic risk, establishing a process through which IU’s strategic risks are identified and understood, and then determining whether action is needed to reduce the impact if those risks are ever realized.

For example, the university’s primary revenue source is student tuition. In this area, scale is critical — the more students who are paying tuition, the less it costs for the university to teach individual students. What happens if for some reason student enrollment tanks? How will that affect the university’s ability to cost-effectively teach that one student?

It is university leadership’s job to understand that dynamic, to know what sorts of steps have been — or should be — taken to minimize the chances of that happening, and to minimize the impact if it does happen.

In 2012, the Enterprise Risk Management Committee, chaired by Executive Vice President John Applegate and advised by Lavagnino, convened and identified 18 business functions viewed as necessary to be working well in order for IU to be able to achieve its mission and objectives. Some of those are academic quality, faculty quality, enrollment, student life, human resources, physical infrastructure, health services, safety and cyberinfrastructure.

The committee then identified a risk owner or risk owners for each of those areas and asked them to conduct risk assessments and to bring forward three to five of the most important dangers to those areas.

For the past two years, the Enterprise Risk Management Committee and the risk owners have been engaged in fully analyzing those risks.

The resulting enterprise risk register contains 85 specific risks. The committee then rated risks compared to factors such as likelihood; severity of impact on academic quality, incoming student quality, public perception of IU, net revenue and expense; safety impact; and distraction from the mission.

From that exercise emerged 10 key enterprise risks that the Enterprise Risk Management Committee wants to focus on in 2015. That is, the committee seeks to learn whether the leaders who have primary oversight for those areas are doing what needs to be done to minimize the chance of the risks being realized.

The 10 key enterprise risks are:

  • Ability to recruit and retain quality faculty.
  • Ability to recruit and retain quality students.
  • Ability to draw research funding as availability of federal grants decreases.
  • Economic downturns cause further decrease in state appropriations and grant funding.
  • High schools and community colleges become more attractive as alternative to first and second years of curriculum.
  • Increase in percentage of Indiana and U.S. high school graduates with reduced socio-economic status.
  • Media focus on and general perception of university ratings.
  • Public sentiment about dangers of college loans shifts students to lower-cost options.
  • Student alcoholism/substance addiction; sexual misconduct.
  • Value proposition for attending IU reaches tipping point.

This is enterprise risk management.

Enterprise risk management is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU, 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.

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A vulnerability in Adobe Flash being exploited; updates available Fri, 16 Oct 2015 20:44:46 +0000 IU’s University Information Security Office posted a bulletin on Thursday alerting computer users to a vulnerability in Adobe Flash that could affect all versions. Initially a fix was not expected until next week, but the updated UISO bulletin includes information about the fix as well as background about the exploit.

Flash is a common although technologically challenged software platform that runs video, animation and games inside of Web pages. This Yahoo Tech article discusses some of the challenges facing Flash.

From the UISO bulletin:

A new zero-day vulnerability has been disclosed for Adobe Flash player. On Oct. 13, an external security group reported that this vulnerability is actively being exploited in the wild. To date, this exploit has been observed in use against international political targets (NATO, the White House, high-profile Ukrainian and Russian political figures) as part of a campaign called “Operation Pawn Storm.” However, there is no indication that use of this exploit will remain isolated to those groups, nor that Operation Pawn Storm participants are the only ones in possession of exploit code.

No active use of the exploit has been reported or observed at IU, but the bulletin urges caution. From the bulletin:

Spam messages disguised as international current events stories contain links to URLs hosting the exploit. Clicking these links will run the exploit, which can allow an attacker to gain control of the system without further user interaction.

Protect IU offers information and guidance concerning email and phishing scams. The UISO maintains an email listserve to distribute bulletins to IT Pros at IU. See how to subscribe.

UISO is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU, 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.

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Cybersecurity in higher ed: It’s not magic Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:02:41 +0000 Colleges and universities may seem like easy targets for cyber plundering because of their open environments, large populations of unmanaged student devices and less intrusive endpoint controls. But a commentary in EDUCAUSE Review argues otherwise.

Kim MilfordThe piece includes various charts that show promising progress in data security.

Recent EDUCAUSE research reflects the same trend, showing that while the number of data breaches in higher education seems high, the number of records exposed in those breaches is actually low. This difference is especially notable when compared to other industry sectors like the government, financial and insurance services, and retail and merchant services. While these sectors have lower numbers of breaches, they disclose greater numbers of records containing personally identifiable information in those breaches.

This Magic Moment: Reflections on Cybersecurity” is written by Indiana University’s Kim Milford, executive director of the Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which is based at IU and affiliated with Public Safety and Institutional Assurance. The piece was co-written by Joanna Lyn Grama, who directs the EDUCAUSE Cybersecurity Initiative and the IT GRC program.

The commentary, written with October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month in mind, also discusses specific technical and administrative safeguards that can be highly effective. The full article is a good read.


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Lessons from the 1994 Northridge, Calif., earthquake Tue, 15 Sep 2015 14:21:27 +0000 Guest contribution by former Public Safety and Institutional Assurance graphic design intern Cheryl Wellum. Send your firsthand accounts of earthquakes to Tracy James at, to share with the IU community through social media.

Unimaginable destruction and chaos

I’d been in earthquakes before but nothing like this. It was around 4:30 in the morning of Jan. 17, 1994. I had just woken up to nurse my baby. As my husband, baby, and I were lying on the bed, the whole house suddenly started to shake violently. There was no place to take cover, nor time!

Cheryl Wellum holds her emergency utility gas/water shut off tool.

Cheryl Wellum holds her emergency utility gas/water shut off tool.

Even standing would have been impossible.

Within seconds, our exit was blocked; the bookshelf positioned opposite the door had fallen over. Clutching my baby, I lay on the bed and watched the whole house sway in a horror-stricken stupor, wondering at what point the roof would collapse and crush us. Strange as it may seem, I found consolation in the thought that if we were to die, at least we would die together. All we could do was wait for the earthquake to end, all the while listening to the unsettling sounds of items moving, crashing to the floor, and breaking.

After what seemed like an eternity, an eerie silence befell our home. Our baby seemed completely unaware of what had just happened. Crawling on the bed, I peered over the sides looking for some shoes to protect my feet from broken glass and sharp objects. With a little effort, my handicapped husband and I managed to unwedge the bookshelf from the door and move the books so that I could inspect the damage to the rest of the house. Everything had moved: the piano was in the middle of the floor; the television was screen-side down on the floor with the casing around it broken; chairs were toppled; hanging light fixtures were still swinging. I immediately started putting the large items back into position in order to make a pathway to the kitchen.

The kitchen was a mess. Everything had flown off the shelves and was on the floor, just like in our home-office and the garage. Fallen, collapsed, and broken shelving units created the worst mess. Everything was haphazardly thrown from the shelves to the floor: books, paper, supplies, tools, cleaners, nails, decorations, powdered cement, paint. Note to self: NEVER store paint if the lids of the cans are not perfectly sealed.

Almost everything in the garage and laundry room had to be tossed from being damaged by liquids. Another note to self: NEVER store bleach near ammonia! The bottles are not indestructible and the combination of these two household cleaners creates a toxic vapor. I was dismayed at the thought of sifting through this mess, but at least there was no severe structural damage, other than the brick fireplace. The nearby apartment buildings, however, were not so lucky. Most of them had collapsed.

Damage from the Northridge earthquake.

Damage from the Northridge earthquake.

Turning off the gas was also an adventure as my tool for turning off the main line was somewhere in the garage heap. As I had never turned it off before, I was also a little unsure if I was doing it right. Note to self: ALWAYS keep an emergency tool handy and know how to use it!

The aftermath of the earthquake brought other problems. No electricity and gas meant everything in the refrigerator was going to go bad; no ice; no means of using the stove; no means of communication, no heat, no warm water, no vacuum sweeper, and no washer and dryer. Note to self: Always have a battery-operated radio on hand with fresh batteries. Thankfully, there was water so we could at least flush the toilet, but all water now had to be boiled. I was so grateful that I had recently filled the propane tank to the grill and was able to find some bottled water. Note to self: Store emergency supplies together in a place where they can be accessed.

As a person who likes to cook, I always kept my pantry full. Even though everything was on the floor, I was able to salvage a lot. Those who had no food in storage were faced with fighting the throngs of people for life’s necessities. Like my house, all the items displayed on grocery store shelves were also thrown to the floor. Looting was rampant. People were panicked.

At night, we closed the curtains and lit candles. Going out the first few days was not an option as the freeways were damaged, public transportation was closed, the gas pumps were not functional, and everyone was in survival mode. Fortunately, things started to settle down after a week. That’s when we found out that we were two miles from the epicenter, and the magnitude of the quake was 6.7.

Learning to prepare for emergencies is not as easy as one would think. We all lead busy lives and usually save non-pressing issues like earthquake preparedness for last. There are always ways in which I can better prepare myself. After having gone through one major earthquake, however, I always make sure to have a 30-day food storage, a 5-gallon water supply for each person in the household, a radio with fresh batteries, an extra propane tank, candles, matches, shoes by my bed, and an emergency tool to turn off the gas.

The earthquake drill will be conducted at all campuses by IU Emergency Management and Continuity, which is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU.


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IU employees notified of responsible employee, campus security authority training Fri, 11 Sep 2015 17:51:41 +0000 Nearly half of Indiana University employees received an email today (Sept. 11) about their federal reporting obligations and training under Title IX or on their reporting and training obligations under both Title IX and the Clery Act.

ItsOnUsIU employees with significant student and campus responsibilities or responsibilities for campus safety and security are considered both Responsible Employees (RE) under Title IX and Campus Security Authorities (CSA) under the Clery Act. Other employees who interact with students, but may not necessarily be determined to have significant responsibilities are still considered to be Responsible Employees. Additionally, any employee who is in a supervisory role is also considered a responsible employee.

This InsideIU article discusses the new sexual misconduct training.

“We timed the launch of this new tool with the start of the new semester, which can be a time of heightened vulnerability for acts of sexual violence for our incoming students,” Emily Springston, IU’s chief student welfare and Title IX officer, said in the article. “It is designed to explain the type of conduct prohibited under our sexual misconduct policy, how the university responds and how employees can be most helpful when interacting with students who have experienced sexual violence. It is also designed to share references to the university’s sexual violence website to ensure that staff and faculty know where to find additional information, and to convey that information to students.”

Some people who were notified will need to take both modules while others will just take one. Each module focuses on student safety and should take 30 minutes or less to complete. Both CSAs and REs are required to annually take the relevant training modules and report incidents to the reporting structure established by the institution.

Please refer to your email for additional information, such as directions for accessing the free training modules. The email was sent by IU Public Safety, which works closely with IU’s Office of Student Welfare and Title IX on compliance and awareness of these federal regulations.

IU Public Safety is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU, which falls under the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs and the Office of Vice President for IT and CIO.

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Emergency guide, procedures grid for faculty, staff, students Thu, 10 Sep 2015 17:50:55 +0000 Faculty Quick GuideCould you take care of yourself during an emergency at work, such as a fire or power outage? What about you and a classroom of students?

Whether you’re a long-time professor at IU or an adjunct instructor teaching just one course, you can expect students to look to you for guidance during a crisis. IU Emergency Management and Continuity staff prepared a faculty quick guide, emergency procedures grid and syllabus inserts to help you know what to do and who to call.

“These easy-to-use tools outline what you need to do,” said Diane Mack, university director for IUEMC. “We encourage all faculty to use the syllabus insert for every class, to ensure that everyone in the room knows the plan in case of an emergency.”

The faculty guide, emergency procedures grid and syllabus inserts can be downloaded from the educational materials section of the new Protect IU website. A button on the Protect IU homepage also takes you to the educational materials page.

Emergency procedures gridThe faculty quick guide discusses building safety, emergency notifications, emergency contact information and preparedness tips and is a briefer version of safety information found on the Protect IU site. The emergency procedures grid would be useful in any workplace or residence hall, as well.

I printed out the PDF that allows the IU Bloomington guide and grid to be printed back-to-back on a standard sheet of paper. The material is available for each campus.

“These are fantastic new tools that are designed to put emergency information where it needs to be – quickly accessible, and in the hands of those faculty and students who need to use it,” Mack said.

“Every person at IU has a role when it comes to addressing emergencies.”

IUEMC is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU, which falls under the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs and the Office of Vice President for IT and CIO.

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To quote Peter Parker … Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:54:45 +0000 Guest contribution from John Applegate, executive vice president for university academic affairs.

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege once again to speak at the graduating ceremony of this year’s class of the IU Police Academy. It’s always a high point of my year, and it is truly inspiring to meet these dedicated young men and women and to learn about their accomplishments.

John Applegate

John Applegate

Each year is also an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a police officer in these times and on the seven campuses that IU manages. This year, the graduation took place in the shadow of the recent shooting of an unarmed African-American man by a University of Cincinnati police officer, and so I thought that I would share one of the lessons – there are many – that I take from that tragedy:

In 1939, the wartime Ministry of Information in Great Britain commissioned three posters to inspire the British public through the darkest days of World War II. Only the first two posters were actually deployed. They held back the third poster for the utmost necessity, that is, for a large-scale invasion or even occupation by the Nazis.

And what did the final poster say? The one that they would pull out only in the event of a calamity? The one that was never used, but only discovered in 2000 at the bottom of a box of old books? We see it now in many forms, and in many places – even on the coffee cup in my office that my kids gave me. It says: “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

This phrase, once it was rediscovered, took on a life of its own, probably for several reasons. It just sounds so perfectly British – like “Mind the Gap” – and it encapsulates the stiff upper lip that we so associate with Britain’s lone, heroic resistance to the Nazis in the early days of the Second World War. And there is another reason, as well: it’s great advice.

It is especially great advice for police officers, here in Indiana and across the country, who confront exceptionally difficult and tense situations as part of their jobs. It is no secret that IUPD cadets are entering a challenging, often controversial profession. Police officers routinely – even daily – confront exceptionally difficult and tense situations, with the responsibility of safely bringing peace and closure if they can.

To accomplish this, law enforcement officers must exhibit many qualities. Some are inherent, that is, who they are as a person. Training in the academy and throughout their careers aims at developing others. In prior graduation ceremonies, I had spoken of four such characteristics, what I called the four Cs of Camaraderie, Compassion, Courage and Character. When I spoke to the cadets this year, I highlighted the 1939 phrase to add a fifth C: Calm.

At last year’s graduation ceremony, the events of Ferguson, Mo., were fresh in our minds. Since that time, highly publicized cases of escalated situations and the use of deadly force have multiplied, and most recently we have watched with dismay what happened in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati events bring this home in two ways: it occurred relatively nearby, and it involved a university police force. The Ohio prosecutor was absolutely scathing in his description of that officer’s actions, and the officer was indicted by a grand jury. We don’t yet know the exact circumstances, but regardless of how it turns out, we need to look for lessons, and one of them is Calm.

Police officers are vested with great power and authority in our society, as they must be. Our IU Police Academy graduates, now part-time police officers on all of our campuses, are armed while on duty on campuses that do not otherwise permit weapons. They have the moral authority of the law behind them. I never thought I’d quote Spiderman in a formal setting, but I told the graduates (and the audience of more than 500 friends, family, and law enforcement officers), “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Calm means exercising police powers with responsibility, with judgment, and with restraint. Our graduates and the university police force always have to ask themselves whether a forceful intervention is needed to make the community safer or to protect someone from harm. When they need to intervene, then they have to ask themselves how to intervene. Their training and prior experience as officers will give them tools to make that assessment, but they must also exercise judgment each and every time – and calm judgment is what police can uniquely bring to the situation. Once our officers are in a situation, the essence of professionalism for police officers is being the person who is calm and in control of him- or herself. In tense situations, police officers should be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

This is not always easy, which is why admission to the IU Police Academy is competitive and the training extremely rigorous. Police officers are often in provocative situations. Sometimes – I’ve seen it – they will be deliberately provoked. I am incredibly proud of IUPD’s record of calm and firm reaction to tense and provoking situations. I could list them, but I’ll just mention the face-off at a speech last year between the speaker’s supporters and a neo-Nazi protest group. It was extremely tense. But with planning, training, and above all calmness, IUPD officers kept two very angry groups apart, with no injuries or damage on campus. This is the essence of good policing. IU Police Academy graduates – this was the 43rd class — are indeed fortunate to be trained by individuals, and joining a force, that exhibits it every day.

The IU Police Academy and IUPD are part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance, which falls within the Office of the Executive Vice President of University Academic Affairs. Learn more about the IU Police Academy and PSIA at Protect.IU.

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Don’t forget to lock up — every time Thu, 20 Aug 2015 13:13:28 +0000 lock your doorsWith the school year beginning soon on IU’s campuses, the Indiana University Police Department wants to remind students to get in the habit of locking doors and windows.

Your new apartment, residence hall or favorite haunt for studying may feel homey, but belongings can disappear in as little time as it takes you to take a bathroom break or trip to the food court.

Here are some tips for preventing thefts from your home and autos:

• Always lock and close all home and vehicle doors and windows when you leave.
• Take your keys with you, even if you leave for only a short time.
• Do not lend your keys to service people or anyone you do not know and trust.
• Always hide valuables so they cannot be seen through residential and vehicle windows.
• Pay attention to your surroundings and always report suspicious behavior to local police.
• Don’t leave cell phones, backpacks and other personal property unattended, even if you plan to step away for only a few minutes (like when you’re studying at the library).
• Always lock your bike at a bike rack, post, sign, etc. Never leave bicycle unlocked and unattended.
• Use a steel U-shaped lock.
• Position the lock keyhole towards the ground to hinder a thief’s ability to manipulate the lock.
• Ensure bicycles with quick-release tires are secure by locking both wheels and frame to the structure.
• Know the make, model, color and frame number of the bicycle.

Additional safety tips can be found on ProtectIU.

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Sworn to serve Wed, 19 Aug 2015 14:54:00 +0000 Guest contribution by Marina Allen, special projects intern for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

On any normal day, most people have no problem listing off the things they have accomplished. Some have made a few important calls at work; others have cleaned the house from top to bottom. Remembering to pick the kids up from baseball practice might even be a win in itself. We all complete things daily that make us feel productive and successful. But, on that long list of things to do, have you ever been able to check off “become a protector of my community?”

IU Students take their oath to become IU police officers

IU students and graduates of the the IU Police Academy take their oath to become IU Police officers.

On Saturday, graduates of the 43rd class of the IU Police Academy were able to do just that.

This past weekend, hundreds of family members, friends, and highly respected officials gathered in the Indiana Memorial Union’s Alumni Hall to watch the 2015 IU Police Academy cadets be officially sworn in as IU police officers. Cadets from every IU campus walked across the stage and took the oath that solidified their new status, while IU Police Department chiefs from across the state watched.

View a photo gallery

As graduates of the academy, the students became certified law enforcement officers in the state of Indiana.

Throughout the entire ceremony, a very traditional ambiance was captured. Bagpipes were played as the cadets entered and during the proceedings, chiefs and officials wore Class “A” dress uniforms, and the graduates entered sporting new gun belts, an added accessory that signifies their transition from their prior status of a cadet to their new title of a police officer.

Bagpipes Capt. Greg Butler, director of public safety education for IUPD and coordinator of the IU Police Academy, took part in the ceremony, along with some very well respected guests.

Many speakers shared words of wisdom with the newly graduated police officers, such as IU President Michael A. McRobbie, Jerry Minger, superintendent of public safety, Rusty Goodpaster, executive director of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, and John Applegate, executive vice president of university academic affairs. All encouraged the graduates to “use their training and their courage to help improve our world” (McRobbie), understand that, quoting Batman, “with great power comes great responsibility” (Applegate), and to “keep calm and carry on” (also Applegate).

Along with individual recognition in categories of firearm proficiency, academic achievement, and physical fitness, each cadet received official graduation items, such as a badge and a certificate. Speakers, officials, and even some family members took part in congratulating each cadet and handing out their awards as he or she walked across the stage.

IU President Michael McRobbie

IU President Michael A. McRobbie spoke to graduates.

“Choosing to participate in the IU police academy this summer is one of the best decisions I have ever made,” said Kyle Hall, recipient of the individual physical fitness award. “It taught me an incredible amount about police work and being a stronger person. Additionally, participating in this program allowed me to join a network of graduates that spans the country.”

During the summer months, the 36 cadets took part in classes and courses pertaining to physical tactics, cultural diversity, criminal and traffic law, crisis intervention, and many more. Along with physical evaluation tests starting bright and early at six in the morning, the cadets were molded and shaped into what true law enforcement officers should represent: integrity, unity, professionalism, and achievement.

Every accomplishment is rewarding in its own way, but answering the call of duty and serving the community might just be one of the most fulfilling and gratifying tasks one could ever cross off of their list. The cadets will work as part-time police officers as they continue as full-time students on their respective campuses.

For insights into their experiences over the summer, check out the Protect IU blog, the IU Police Academy Facebook page and news reports by Indiana Public Media, Inside IU, and the Bloomington Herald-Times.

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Teen honored for helping after fiery crash Mon, 03 Aug 2015 18:49:37 +0000 David Ray had choices as he drove along the Indiana 45/46 bypass in Bloomington late one night in June. As he approached debris from a head-on collision, the 18-year-old Bloomington High School North grad stopped his car and started running through the rain.

David Ray and IUPD-Bloomington Chief Laury Flint

David Ray and IUPD Bloomington Chief Laury Flint

He called 911 as he ran to an SUV that was smoking. After he got the door open and spoke with the driver, the driver asked him to check on the driver of the other vehicle, which came to rest about 200 feet away. Ray ran over, checked on the driver and then noticed the first driver struggling to get out of the SUV, which was filling up with smoke. With another Good Samaritan helping the second driver, Ray ran back to the first vehicle and helped the driver out of the SUV.

When officer Steve Winenger of the Indiana University Police Department Bloomington arrived at the scene, flames were shooting from the SUV, but the driver was safe.

He described the scene as a “horrible-looking mangled mess of metal.” And he described Ray as remarkable.

“He stood out to me, for someone so young to pull up and put the needs of a stranger before his own. He not only pulled the driver out of the vehicle, but he got him off of the highway and out of harm’s way. And then he stayed to help.”

Details such as these usually don’t make it into police case reports, so Winenger made a point of bringing Ray’s actions to the attention of IUPD Bloomington Chief Laury Flint, who awarded Ray the division’s first ever Certificate of Appreciation on Saturday.

In a brief ceremony attended by members of Ray’s family and more than a dozen police officers, Flint said she and her officers wanted to make sure Ray was recognized and commended for what he did even though he took action with no thought of recognition.

Why did he stop?

“Instincts,” said Ray, who will begin attending IU later this month. “My dad talks with me about leadership. I’ve never been in such a stressful circumstance, but I’ve been raised to do something, not watch.”

Within days of the accident, he embarked on a mission trip with his church to the Dominican Republic. Ray describes the back-to-back experiences as profound and said they help put life into perspective.

His parents, Mary and David Ray, said they are proud of him but not surprised by what he did because he has always had a “take charge personality.”

Ray was a talented wrestler at Bloomington High School North and became an entrepreneur in middle school when he began making and selling maple syrup. Saturday’s ceremony, in fact, was scheduled so that he could sell his Stonewall Maple Syrup at the Bloomington Farmers Market beforehand.

Ray plans to major in geology at IU. Work as a conservation officer has interested him, he said, but since the accident he also has been considering law enforcement.

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Bike patrols at IU: A new dimension to police-community relationship Thu, 09 Jul 2015 17:14:37 +0000 Guest contribution by Marina Allen, special projects intern for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

When you think of a well-equipped police officer, do you image a gun belt, shiny badge, handcuffs and a bike?

Wait. A bike?

Emily West, IUPD-Kokomo

Emily West, IUPD-Kokomo. Photo by Alysha Referda.

While a squad car may be more traditional, a new form of transportation for police officers is gaining traction. Along with many municipal police departments from around the state and country, the Indiana University Police Department is using bicycle patrolling as an alternate way of protecting its campuses.

“Bike patrol has, in some communities, restarted that police-community relationship,” said Sgt. Brian Oliger, an 18-year veteran of IUPD-Bloomington. “Bike patrol allows officers to get out from behind the car wheel and back into the communities. Officers can now hear, smell, and feel what’s going on around them.”

Another day, another dollar (saved, that is)

Along with the advantage of being more directly involved with the community the officers serve in, the cost of the program has proven to be very beneficial as well. Gas prices, expensive engine-related repairs, and law enforcement-related technology upgrades are all usual expenses that come with the upkeep of a typical squad car.

Unlike usual squad cars that every department has, the bike patrolling program requires no real cost, other than the bicycle itself and the few accessories that go along with it. Many bikes have even been donated or received from grants, costing the departments little to nothing. When seven to 10 officers could be provided bikes and dressed in their respective uniforms for what it takes to maintain only one squad car, the new bicycle option begins to sound like an even better idea.

All the bells and whistles

Even though they may not have all the amenities of a police vehicle, that doesn’t stop them from doing their duty and continuing to serve their community members. Normal arrests, citations, and other forms of policing can still be made while patrolling on the bikes, although the transport of any person being taken in is performed by a squad car. Also, bike officers aren’t as sheltered during a rain shower like they would be in a squad car, but that doesn’t stop them from doing their job.

“As long as you are motivated to ride,” says Emily West, an IUPD-Kokomo bike patrol officer since 2014, “you can ride in any type of weather. If it is raining, some may wait a while to see if it will blow over, or some will just continue to ride in it.”

Besides taking protective rain gear for bad weather situations, officers also carry their normal duty equipment, along with a supply of water, a medical kit in case of emergencies, and even stickers, such as Oliger does, for young children they meet along the way. Along with these, the bikes are also equipped with lights and sound mechanisms, allowing them to draw attention and alert the public if needed.

Although the bike patrol method seems simplistic, the training to become a part of it is much more difficult than one would think. Officers must be certified in the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) basic police course. The three-day certification and training covers such skills such as controlling the bikes in tight quarters and patrolling in crowded areas.

Bike patrolling is here to stay

There are many reasons why officers like the bike patrol program. From West’s perspective of “interacting with the students and community in a different way” to Oliger’s experience of racing and repairing road bikes for over 10 years, every officer and department has a unique motivation as to why they got involved in this new form of patrolling.

“Officers really enjoy riding bikes and interacting with the campus community. They want to ride the police bikes and they keep the program going,” said IUPD-Southeast Chief Charlie Edelen. “Also, we’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the campus community, so that drives the desire to keep it going.”

Bike patrolling has a positive effect on the department, the officers partaking, and the entire community. As Chief of Police Laury Flint of IU Bloomington states, “Bike patrols facilitate community policing, and that benefits everyone!”

With IUPD-East starting a bicycle patrol in the fall, nearly every IU campus will be able to use bicycle patrols when appropriate.

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A need for speed Wed, 08 Jul 2015 19:37:13 +0000 Photo, video and article provided by Marina Allen, special projects intern for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

For many of us, driving a car is an activity we don’t think twice about. We use the skill to get to and from work, to cart important items and cargo, or even to clear our minds on hectic days. However, for the cadets attending the Indiana University Police Academy, learning to operate a highly equipped patrol vehicle is no walk in the park.

A cadet listens to instruction before taking to the driving course.

Cadet Jason Smith listens to instruction before taking to the driving course.

At the Emergency Vehicles Operations course (also known as EVO), the cadets — all IU students — are trained and practice driving police cars under pre-constructed scenarios. With the use of an inside course, marked by traffic cones, and an outside course, laid out by a paved road, future police officers are taught valuable skills that will come in handy during real situations in which accurate, aggressive driving is required. After a few practice laps, trainees are timed on how quickly they can maneuver through cones and complete the required course without running over any cones. Speed, agility, and confidence are much-needed characteristics when it comes to being successful on the emergency driving course, and according to Ross Allen, an EVO instructor and IUPD-Bloomington officer, EVO training is not just an extra skill, but a necessity.

Watch a video of the EVO course

“Training is needed due to the fact police spend a majority of their careers in vehicles and need to be skilled in many different driving situations,” Allen said. “Crashes are one of the highest reasons for officer fatalities yearly.”

Skills that are taught in this action-packed course are not for just anyone. Allen said police need to have a higher set of driving skills than citizens out on the road in order for the police to successfully serve their communities. Examples of these high-performing skills include brake and gas control, reversing, and “scrubbing speed.”

“The techniques that are taught in EVO are not traits that are taught to everyone who takes a driver’s test,” he said. “They are different because police officers need to have the ability to perform and do their jobs to a high standard for the public’s safety.”

Instructors, who include Public Safety Superintendent Jerry Minger (EVO instructor since 1986), enjoy taking part in the program, and, as put by Allen, “learn a lot about the cadets during that time and enjoy the interaction.” Through preciseness, sureness, and some fun along with the way, the Emergency Vehicles Operations course prepares cadets for their future police endeavors not only from behind the wheel, but also in areas of confidence and self-assurance.

“The skills they learn on the driving course can be used every day they are behind the wheel of a car, on or off duty,” Minger said.

Learn more about the cadets’ experiences this summer in the IU Police Academy by reading these blog posts about the vehicle searches and seizures class and the kickoff of the police academy, this InsideIU profile of IU East cadet Brooke Hartwig, and this Indiana Public Media report on the cadets’ explosives class. More photos and insights are shared on the IU Police Academy Facebook page.

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New certificate demonstrates a commitment to emergency preparedness Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:34:59 +0000 Guest contribution by John Summerlot, IU Emergency Management and Continuity’s emergency management coordinator for IU Bloomington.

IU Emergency Management and Continuity, in cooperation with University Human Resources, has begun offering the new Campus Emergency Preparedness Certificate program for IU employees. The program offers both professional development for individual employees and subject matter specialists for their departments.

Drill sign for an exerciseThose who pursue the CEPC will learn about and participate in a dynamic range of emergency preparedness and response activities throughout the 100-hour program. Customizable activities and flexible scheduling were intentionally built into the program to meet the diverse needs of the IU community.

The skills and activities include things such as short online classes through the Department of Homeland Security, participation in campus emergency drills (active shooter, earthquake, etc.), on-campus classes, and individual skill development such as CPR/1st Aid certification and creating an emergency kit for your office. CEPC candidates will also have the opportunity to learn about how IU Public Safety & Institutional Assurance responds to campus emergencies, including touring the Emergency Operations Center and participating in exercises ranging from active shooter to pandemic response.

A registration form is available on the Educational Materials page of Protect.IU.

Candidates have two years to complete the CEPC requirements. Many IU employees may already have attended training that would count if they work in life safety roles or if they are a part of their building’s emergency control committee.

Learn more about the role of building managers and emergency control committee members

Most of the classes and activities are free. Additional certifications, such first aid and CPR, could require a fee. Additional information is available in this flyer. Here is a registration form.

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Phone scam at IU South Bend, security experts want to know Thu, 25 Jun 2015 16:36:30 +0000 In this Digital Age of ours, with the constant barrage of email phishing (don’t forget to report it), some scammers still go “old school” by using the telephone. Employees at IU South Bend have reported incidents of telephone phishing attempts where the caller purports to be from the Microsoft help desk and requests the employees’ username or asks them to install software.

office phoneUniversity Information Policy Office staff say the request for credentials should immediately tip off employees to the scam because nobody at IU would legitimately ask for credentials over the phone or through email.

“Hang up,” said UIPO Incident Response Manager Tim Goth. “If they can take down the time of the call and the phone number, reporting this to (new email address!) it may give us the opportunity to trace the call.”

Email phishing continues to be a concern at IU. Goth said it is important for students and employees to report phishing that asks for IU credentials or appears to be using an IU account so that he and his colleagues can take steps to protect the victim and others at IU from harm. To report phishy email, send a copy of the email, along with full header information (instructions) to

For more information about how to avoid getting hooked refer to Protect.IU. For additional news related to phishing at IU refer to this InsideIU article.

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IU Notify emergency notifications available on desktop computers Tue, 23 Jun 2015 19:25:03 +0000 Students and employees at Indiana University will begin seeing emergency notifications from IU Notify on their desktop computers. The full-screen pop-ups bypass pop-up blockers and can be quickly dismissed once viewed.

Alertus desktop notifications will provide emergency informationIU Notify emergency notifications, which are time-sensitive, already can be sent to more than 90,000 people via phones (voice and text), email, digital signs, Webpage banners, Facebook and Twitter. IU Notify crime alerts, which are less time-sensitive, are sent through email.

“Emergency Management and Continuity staff strongly recommend that you take advantage of desktop alerts, particularly for those times when cell phones do not work or are turned off, or in locations where cell phone signals are not available,” said Marge Abels, emergency communications analyst for IUEMC.

Initially the Alertus desktop alerts will appear on all active desktops with Alertus software installed, including all Student Technology Center workstations, most classroom computers, and some faculty/staff machines based on campus or department. At IU Southeast and IU South Bend, the desktop notifications will appear on all workstations.

To install the Alertus software on your personally owned Windows or Mac computer, download it from IUware. Departments or schools should contact their IT Pros for installation information.

IU Notify contact information can be updated in after searching for IU Notify. For more about Alertus, email

IU Emergency Management and Continuity is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU.

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IUPD cadets practice criminal law, vehicle searches and seizures Wed, 10 Jun 2015 21:10:32 +0000 Photos and article provided by Marina Allen, special projects intern for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

There are some things books just can’t teach you. For cadets attending the Indiana University Police Academy, that includes the practice of searching and seizing belongings in motor vehicles.

IU Police Academy cadet practices vehicle search procedures

Sean Kincaid, an IUPD cadet from IU Bloomington, searches on the driver’s side of a vehicle during one of the planned scenarios.

The cadets put their criminal law book work to the test June 5. With the help of knowledgeable instructors — attorneys with the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office — volunteer actors (including the author of this post), fake drug paraphernalia and weaponry, and preplanned scenarios, the cadets received a hands-on experience of identifying and applying the “automobile exception” for warrantless searches of vehicles.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to enhance learning for our cadets. Field scenarios allow for actual hands-on training,” said IU Police Department Capt. Greg Butler, director of public safety and education. “When the prosecutor’s office suggested setting up field scenarios to demonstrate what it would be like to go through the search and seizure process, we jumped on the idea and set up actual vehicle stop scenarios with a search and seizure theme. This lets the cadets take classroom instruction and apply it to lifelike situations.”

When they’re on the job, the cadets won’t have time to sit and ponder the ins and outs of criminal law. These staged scenarios required them to quickly apply everything they have learned to a lifelike situation. The variables included language barriers, approaching potentially dangerous scenes, and communicating with their partner/other cadet, all while remembering and practicing “officer safety.”

In one scenario, for example, my two fellow Public Safety and Institutional Assurance interns and two other actors each spoke a different language when questioned by a cadet. In another scenario, the cadets became suspicious when they pulled over a vehicle and saw the driver and passenger appear to hide something. Despite rebukes from the passenger that the cadets did not have permission to search her purse, they did search it and found drug paraphernalia.

IU cadets search a vehicle during a class

Jamie Hodges, an IUPD cadet from IU Bloomington, watches two actors as her partner searches the vehicle.

Thirty-six cadets representing all of IU’s campuses are attending the IU Police Academy this summer. Once they graduate in August (if they pass the 600-hour curriculum), the cadets will become fully sworn law enforcement officers and will return to their campuses to work as part-time officers while they work toward their academic degrees as full-time students.

Meet cadet Brooke Hartwig from IU East in this InsideIU article.

This week the cadets’ classes including a Critical Incident Response Team demonstration on Tuesday and an explosives demonstration on Wednesday provided by the Indiana State Police bomb squad. They have daily fitness training involving running, strength training and swimming. Upcoming courses include firearms training, emergency vehicle operations, first-hand experience at getting pepper sprayed and more role playing.

“In future weeks as the academy training develops and intensifies, more practicums to apply classroom knowledge will occur,” Butler said.

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Mass casualties: Let’s talk about that Thu, 21 May 2015 13:51:19 +0000 Nobody wants to think about horrific things happening at Indiana University that could result in loss of life for even one student or employee, let alone large numbers of people; yet many people do think about this very thing – because it’s part of their jobs.

Tornado damage in Henryville, Ind.

Tornado damage in Henryville, Ind.

I attended two seminars last month organized to discuss the emergency response to mass casualty events that theoretically could occur on or near the IU Bloomington campus and at IUPUI. An active shooter situation often comes to mind, such as the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.

Seminar participants pointed out that natural disasters and accidents can cause loss of life, too, such as the deaths that occurred after the bonfire tower collapse at Texas A&M in 1999 and the tornado deaths at the University of Alabama in 2011. The deadly Henryville, Ind., tornado that hit in 2012 was a mere 11 miles from the IU Southeast campus and its residence halls.

“Some things are unpleasant to think about and talk about but are much, much worse to deal with at the time of a disaster if planning isn’t done in advance,” said Mark Bruhn, associate vice president for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

It was a morbid topic, but I found the gatherings and discussions highly encouraging because of the collection of campus, city, county and state responders who participated. And for many of them, they already knew each other through meetings and exercises.

“Trust is an important part of responses to disasters,” said Diane Mack, university director of Emergency Management and Continuity. “Everyone needs to do their part, understand their roles and trust that others will perform as well. We commonly say that business cards should be exchanged BEFORE the disaster happens. Seminars such as these help everyone get to know each other in advance, exchange their business cards and share information on their roles, to build that trust and ensure the coordination is already there when the disaster hits.”

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The IU Police Academy: Where cadets take the next step toward careers in law enforcement Thu, 14 May 2015 13:51:46 +0000 Thirty-seven Indiana University students are at a pivotal point in their college careers and ambitions to work in law enforcement. This week they began the IU Police Academy as cadets. In August, if all goes well with their various courses, they will graduate from the academy as sworn law enforcement officers.

A cadet prepares for a fitness test during the 2015 IU Police Academy

A cadet prepares for a fitness test during the 2015 IU Police Academy

“Our program is unique,” said IU Police Department Capt. Greg Butler, director of public safety and education. “Our cadets and part-time officers can pursue any major. If they successfully complete the IU Police Academy, they will have their academic degree, Indiana Law Enforcement Certification and job experience when they graduate from IU. This makes them very marketable for a law enforcement position.”

The academy participants have all worked as cadets for at least a year and represent all of IU’s campuses. Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU is providing a glimpse of the students and their academy experiences over the summer through this blog, the IU Police Academy Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #IUPA2015 when possible.

The IU Police Academy, one of seven police academies in Indiana, graduated its first class in 1972 and has had about 1,200 graduates since then. It provides a 600-hour curriculum that has been approved by the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board, which sets the standards for training of police officers in Indiana. Most of the instructors also work for IUPD, Indiana State Police, Bloomington Police Department and several other agencies, such as the FBI and ATF.

After students graduate from the academy, they work as part-time officers on their campuses while attending class full-time.

IU students spend their summers in many different ways – working, traveling, studying. As the cadets work their way through the academy, they will undergo daily fitness training (running, strength training, swimming), and work through such classes as survival Spanish, criminal law, vehicle crash investigation, white collar crimes, explosives, emergency vehicle operations, firearms training, community policing, child abuse and other topics.

“This is the only program I’m aware of that trains students to be police officers and then allows them to work as police officers for the university while they complete their degrees,” Butler said. “Having student officers also helps break down the barriers that sometimes exist between the police department and the students. Since we now have students who are police officers, the interaction between the groups is more positive.

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Coffee with a Cop: Definitely about more than coffee Fri, 24 Apr 2015 13:46:19 +0000

Clifford Caldwell, a community police officer for the Indiana University Police Department-Northwest in Gary, says in this news report by Lakeshore Public Media, that “people typically don’t want to talk to police when a crime happens.”

So, police departments such as IUPD-Northwest, IUPD-Kokomo and IUPD-Southeast in New Albany host Coffee with a Cop programs to help community members and police get to know each other in a low-stress environment.

Police talk with students at IU Northwest

Police talk with students at IU Northwest

“When we do this, we build relationships and we’re able to solve a lot of crimes that way,” Caldwell says in the broadcast, which focuses on IU Northwest at the 2:11 minute mark. “When we build these relationships, whether it’s coffee with a cop or the citizens’ academy, people are more forthcoming with information because they trust us; they know us.”

The report aired earlier this month. The effort by police seemed to be appreciated by some of the participants.

“I know for a fact that there are some good guys out there who are actually here for our safety and our protection,” said one Coffee with a Cop participant at IU Northwest. “And I respect the service that they do.”

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Hittin’ the books, bikes Wed, 22 Apr 2015 18:04:43 +0000 Textbooks need extra attention in the coming weeks and not just for the obvious reason — you know, finals. Reports of textbook thefts typically increase at the end of each semester on the Indiana University Bloomington campus as unattended books are taken to local bookstores and sold for some quick cash.

Bicycle tires Students needing to take a break from their studies should have a trusted friend watch their belongings until they return. If you do become a victim of theft call IUPD at 812-855-4111 to report the incident.

“Students need to be extra careful with their textbooks,” said IUPD-Bloomington Chief Laury Flint. “At the library, IMU, residence hall lounges – if you leave your books unattended while you step away for a few minutes, they might be gone when you return.”

Bicycles also are more vulnerable to theft this time of year. Police recommend that students take their bicycles with them if they leave campus for the summer — or even for the weekend.

The following bicycle theft prevention tips are good to practice throughout the year:

  • Always lock your bike at a bike rack, post, sign, etc. Never leave bicycle unlocked and unattended.
  • Use a steel U-shaped lock. Lightweight cable and chain locks do not provide adequate security.
  • Position the lock keyhole towards the ground. This will hinder a thief’s ability to manipulate the lock.
  • Ensure bicycles with quick-release tires are secure by locking both wheels and frame to the structure.
  • Know the make, model, color and frame number of the bicycle.
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Who’s your building manager? Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:20:40 +0000 Guest contribution from Lindsey Reimlinger, intern for Emergency Management and Continuity. Public Safety and Institutional Assurance is sharing pictures of some of these important volunteers and employees on Instagram and Twitter.

Have you ever wondered who to turn to during a disaster? Did you know people in each building on campus are collaborating to ensure your safety during a potential emergency?

Building managers and emergency control committee members throughout Indiana University Bloomington are liaisons who attend Building Incident Management Training and are knowledgeable about the evacuation plans and protocols for an emergency or natural disaster in their center.

Good people to know

Genevieve Prichard

Genevieve Prichard

“They (building managers) are a good resource to know outside of an emergency and during an emergency,” said John Summerlot. As emergency management coordinator for IU Bloomington and the regional campuses, Summerlot coordinates the BIMT training for all of the centers and frequently evaluates the buildings and communicates with the building managers.

Building managers not only initiate and coordinate procedures during an emergency, they lay a lot of the foundation for keeping maps and materials up-to-date throughout the year regarding all safety protocols. They often work with other entities on campus such as Physical Plant and IU Public Safety to ensure all building issues are remedied. Their role is vital in maintaining and implementing emergency action plans and supplying guidance to staff during emergencies.

Genevieve Pritchard, associate director of the Office of International Development, has also volunteered as a building manager for the past two years.

“It helps and makes sense to have everything running through one central person for continuity and efficiency,” she said.

Who’s in charge?

The emergency control committee within a department is responsible for the full evacuation of a specific floor. They also coordinate the emergency response efforts of a single floor or department during an emergency while the building manager addresses the entire building. Buddies are an optional assistance program used in many buildings to support people with any type of disability or access/functional need during an evacuation. As a buddy, you are paired up with people in a department who may have particular requirements that you can fulfill while exiting the vicinity.


Jacob Benson

People either volunteer in these different positions on top of completing their regularly appointed positions or are specifically employed to manage a large scale building full-time. To get involved as a building manager, emergency control committee member, or buddy, it is important to ask your department supervisor or the current building manager.

Jacob Benson is a full-time building manager for Bryan and Franklin halls and works in Office of Space Planning, too.

“The best part of this job is being there for the occupants of the building,” he said.

Altogether, the network of building managers, emergency control committee members (more than 2,250 people combined), and buddies strive to protect us all from whatever disaster may lie ahead.

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IUPD to begin field testing small number of body-worn cameras Fri, 27 Feb 2015 12:02:52 +0000 The Indiana University Police Department will begin field testing body-worn cameras this month as a committee made up of representatives of law enforcement, students, faculty members and privacy experts continues to explore the possibility of IU police officers using the devices.

IUPD-Bloomington Officer Nate Koontz

IUPD-Bloomington Officer Nate Koontz

The committee is working with several vendors to secure different models of cameras to test and expects to have around 4 cameras in use at any given time.

The committee is working to determine whether the policing and safety benefits of body-worn camera use outweigh the costs, including any potential loss of privacy by both civilians and police. During the testing, which is expected to wrap up in mid-April, the committee will examine issues surrounding notification of the camera use, data storage, the physical security of the equipment, police officers’ impressions, and privacy issues.

“The committee wants to get some real-life experience with both the equipment and the impact on civilian/police interactions,” said Sara Chambers, IU’s chief privacy officer. “To gather multiple perspectives, police will be using a variety of methods when using the cameras. For example, some cameras record non-stop, except during break time, and other cameras will only be activated when an officer is on a call.”

Chambers and Jerry Minger, superintendent of public safety, are leading the effort. The committee chairs are Patricia Nowak, police chief at IU Northwest, and Beth Cate, associate professor of law and public affairs at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

The committee will begin the field testing at IU Bloomington, IU Northwest and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, campuses whose officers already use video cameras in squad cars.

The committee is also planning focus groups and surveys to gather input and expects to complete its work in late April. Comments about the use of body-worn cameras can be sent to

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IU Bloomington: How are decisions to cancel classes made? Thu, 19 Feb 2015 18:41:50 +0000 Editor’s note: This blog is a modified version of an InsideIU article from last winter.

So, how does IU Bloomington decide when to cancel classes, when to issue a delay, and when – with sub-zero wind chills — to stay open?

Sample Gates

Sample Gates

Debbi Fletcher, director of Emergency Management & Continuity, told Inside IU that the discussion about when to close IU Bloomington begins with conversations among a strategic group that includes representatives from Physical Plant, IU Police Department, Residential Programs and Services and Campus Division. Together, the group analyzes the status of campus grounds, buildings, walkways and buses, taking into account area forecasts and travel advisories.

Once the strategic group has developed a good picture of the campus and surrounding community, the Executive Policy Group is convened. Group members are Fletcher, vice president for Capital Planning and Facilities Tom Morrison, associate vice president for Public Affairs and Government Relations Mark Land, associate vice president for Security and Institutional Assurance Mark Bruhn, associate vice president University Human Resources John Whelan and Provost Lauren Robel, the final decision maker.

Fletcher said the Executive Policy Group sometimes communicates into the wee hours of the morning with final decisions occurring after grounds crews have had a chance work.

“The decision on whether to cancel class or close campus is made with a lot of input by people who are closely monitoring the conditions as they change so we have the latest and best information when it comes time to decide what to do,” Land said.

Land said that campus closure decisions boil down to judgment calls made to do what’s right for the largest number of people.

“There’s no way to make 42,000 students and 10,000 plus employees happy in a case like this — and just because we decided not to cancel class doesn’t mean we aren’t aware that some people may have had a difficult time getting in today,” Land said. “We never want to put people in dangerous situations, but these decisions require our best judgment to determine what truly is unsafe vs. simply inconvenient or a bit unpleasant.”

From Fletcher: “We have to balance the safety situation with getting the job of the university done.”

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Improved cybersecurity through greater sharing Fri, 13 Feb 2015 20:59:15 +0000 On Friday, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to encourage and promote sharing of cybersecurity threat information within the private sector and between the private sector and government. Indiana University cybersecurity experts say partnerships in information sharing are critical to reducing cyberthreats.

The executive order, announced during the President’s Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, is expected to enhance ongoing work in cybersecurity and information sharing at IU.

Kim Milford

Kim Milford

Since the inception of the Information Sharing and Analysis Centers framework in 2003, the Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center, hosted at Indiana University has led many successes in information sharing in the R&E community.

This work has included discussing current and evolving threats; notifying institutions of suspicious activity that may impact them; sharing tips from security professionals on safeguards to mitigate risks; and machine-to-machine sharing that enables institutions to plug threat source information into their intrusion detection and prevention systems.

“Today’s Executive Order will encourage additional information sharing with new partners, allowing greater information flow between organizations and cybersecurity professionals,” said REN-ISAC Executive Director Kim Milford. “REN-ISAC will leverage this sharing and bringing even greater benefit to the R&E community and other cybersecurity organizations and professionals.”

Steve Myers

Steve Myers

A key challenge with information sharing is maintaining privacy while providing intelligence needed to protect computing infrastructure.

“One of the biggest challenges in information sharing between organizations and with governmental agencies is concerns for privacy,” said Steve Myers, professor at the School of Informatics and Computing. “With its expertise in seeking the proper balance between public need, homeland security concerns, and individual privacy rights, multi-disciplinary research at IU in this area has shown it to critical to combine the right technical, policy and legal controls in order to ensure privacy protections.”

Threat and intelligence information also brings potential benefits for cybersecurity research and develop.

Von Welch

Von Welch

“The framework for enhanced sharing through Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations may also help to bring threat, breach, and protection information to academic researchers for better analysis leading to the development of innovative new safeguards,” said Von Welch, director of IU’s Center for Advanced Cybersecurity Research.

More about cybersecurity research and educational efforts at IU

Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center

REN-ISAC serves facilitating and operational roles for cybersecurity information sharing within the higher education and research communities, engaging the community’s institutional members into a coalition protecting the sector and responding to threats and incidents.

School of Informatics and Computing

The mission of the school is to excel and lead in education, research and outreach spanning and integrating the full breadth of computing and information technology, including the scientific and technical core, a broad range of applications, and human and societal issues and implications. SOIC degree programs include bachelor, master and Ph.D. programs in information security and assurance.

Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research

The Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research is affiliated with IU’s Pervasive Technology Institute. The center works closely with its partner organizations at the university: CLEAR Health Information, the Maurer School of Law, the Kelley School of Business, the School of Informatics and Computing, Research and Education Networking-Information Sharing and Analysis Center, the University Information Policy Office and the University Information Security Office. CACR has been designated by the National Security Agency as a National Center for Academic Excellence in both Information Assurance Education and Research.

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Thieves may be phishing for your tax return Tue, 10 Feb 2015 20:07:35 +0000 Tax season is a particularly good time to be wary of phishing and identity theft efforts. Last tax season Indiana University was notified that several faculty and staff were unable to file 2013 tax returns electronically because someone had already filed a fraudulent tax return using their personal information.

tax fraud imageThis week a tax fraud advisory was issued by the Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center, a membership association hosted by IU that works to promote and improve operational cybersecurity within educational and research communities.

The REN-ISAC advisory discusses phishing and phone scams by people posing as IRS employees and reports an increase in fraudulent tax filings. According to the advisory, “the IRS will never contact taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information or demand immediate payment via phone.”

“Numerous Federal and State laws have been enacted over the years to limit the collection and disclosure of Social Security numbers, but the best protection lies in securing against unauthorized access and disclosure,” said Sara Chambers, university chief privacy officer. “Each individual can help protect against identity theft by not sharing personal information unnecessarily, protecting personal computers, and not responding to phishing or fake emails and phone calls.”

Jerry Minger, Superintendent of Public Safety at IU, advises that employees who experience a fraudulent tax return issue should file a report with the Indiana University Police Department. Such a report can be filed by calling the local campus IUPD office.

Tax-related identity theft remains a top priority for the IRS in 2015 and is discussed in this USA Today article. From the USA Today article:

In a recent General Accountability Office report, the IRS estimates that it paid out $5.2 billion in fraudulent income tax refunds last year, and this figure is not expected to go down anytime soon.

“If you receive a phishing or fake email or phone call, it is important that you not provide any personal information,” Chambers said. “If you haven’t initiated the call or email, simply don’t respond. Contact the sender separately using normal and published contact information if there is a possibility that the communication might be legitimate.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends examining credit reports annually, in part to guard against identity theft. Victims of tax fraud, however, do not find out they are victims until they try to file their taxes. It can take months for victims to then receive their refund. The REN-ISAC advisory recommends filing taxes early to thwart fraud attempts and includes more tips, as well.

The USA Today article discusses how the IRS processes and distributes refunds before it compares W-2s with the information it has on file about the filed tax return.

For years, Congress and the IRS have been advised that they could all but eliminate income tax identity theft by merely comparing the information contained in the filed tax returns with the information contained in the real W-2s before sending out a refund, but the IRS and Congress continue to drag their feet.

More about phishing

What to do if a victim

Identity theft victims should consider requesting a fraud alert on their credit bureau records, which provides alerts when someone applies for new credit in their name. This can be done at one of the three major credit bureaus:

Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
Experian: 1-888-397-3742
Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

Indiana residents may want to request a “security freeze” on their credit reports. This can help protect against new credit accounts being opened in their name without their knowledge.

Other resources:

Identity theft protection information on the Indiana Attorney General’s website
General information on the Public Safety and Institutional Assurance website

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Chill out this winter with social media, safety tips from IU experts Thu, 29 Jan 2015 03:50:29 +0000 Information and some preparations can take the bite out of bitter winter temperatures and storms.

Snowy IU South Bend

IU South Bend

Indiana University’s emergency notification system, IU Notify, will let students and employees know of class cancellations, delays and campus closures, but information is available from many other sources about weather, local road conditions, and personal safety.

Tips from experts

Emergency management and other experts provide useful tips in these Safety Matters blog posts.

Social media

This useful IU website can help readers connect with the primary social media accounts for Indiana University and its campuses (Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Google Plus, LinkedIn, blog, Vimeo, Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram). The site allows readers to further filter results for particular campuses.

Social media accounts for local media and police departments are great sources for information about road conditions, approaching weather threats and other concerns. The Facebook page for the Bloomington Police Department, for example, often posts about traffic delays. Or, check out the Twitter feed for the South Bend Police Department.

University Emergency Management and Continuity has arranged for campus-specific Twitter feeds for weather threats. The focus is on dangerous weather, so while an alert will go out for freezing precipitation occurring on campus, there won’t be one for rain. When the National Weather Service issues an Advisory, Watch, or Warning for the campus, a tweet will go out. Notices also will be sent when the air “Feels Like” less than 30 below Fahrenheit or more than 105.

University Emergency Management and Continuity’s Severe Weather webpage 

Tim Johnson

Tim Johnson, IU Northwest grounds maintenance supervisor | PHOTO BY DOMINICK LOPEZ

Weather-related articles

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Health officials: ‘It is by no means too late to get a flu shot’ Tue, 13 Jan 2015 13:53:18 +0000 The number of influenza cases across the country and Indiana continues to be high, so Indiana University health officials are asking students and staff to take preventive measures, which include getting a flu shot even though the vaccine is less effective this year.

Dr. Diana Ebling

Dr. Diana Ebling

“This year Influenza A (H3N2) viruses are the most common,” said Dr. Diana Ebling, medical director at the IU Health Center. “The H3N2 strain that is included in this year’s vaccine is genetically different than the majority of the H3N2 circulating this season. Therefore, the effectiveness of the vaccine may be reduced this year. However, it is still the best way to protect against the flu as it prevents other strains of the flu that are circulating and may lessen the severity of the illness, or reduce complications even if someone gets the problematic strain.”

Vaccines are available at the IU Health Center on the Bloomington campus, at IUPUI Campus Health and at several other IU campuses.

“Since the flu vaccine takes about two weeks to have an effect and the peak flu season typically is in February to March, it is by no means too late to get a flu shot,” said Dr. Stephen Wintermeyer, director of IUPUI Campus Health. “If you have not gotten one yet, I recommend you do so now.”

Dr. Stephen Wintermeyer

Dr. Stephen Wintermeyer

The flu is a contagious respiratory disease that infects the nose, throat and lungs and can lead to serious complications, hospitalization or even death. Flu vaccines are recommended for anyone over 6 months old. Additionally, the same basic health and hygiene habits that protect against the flu also help protect against numerous illnesses. These include such things as washing frequently used surfaces, such as computer keyboards and doorknobs.

  • Cover: Cover your mouth or nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Throw used tissues into the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Clean: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, particularly after coughing or sneezing. Carry alcohol-based hand cleaner when soap and water are not available. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread this way
  • Clean: Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces in your living space (keyboards, remotes, sink handles, doorknobs and bathroom door handles).
  • Contain: Stay at home and rest if you are ill to both avoid infecting others and avoid those who are sick.
  • Don’t share: It’s also important to avoid sharing utensils and drinks.

More information and resources:

IU Environmental Health and Safety is part of IU Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

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Stranded vehicle 101 Thu, 08 Jan 2015 14:07:25 +0000 Winter weather can wreak havoc with daily commutes to and from campus. Indiana University students and employees may want to review the tips below in case they find themselves in the unenviable – and scary – position of being stranded in their vehicles amid plunging temperatures and hazardous conditions.



“We also have staff driving between campuses. There might be adjunct faculty and even students who travel from one campus to another. The possibility or potential for someone to have a breakdown and to get stranded is real,” said Carlos Garcia, director of emergency management and continuity at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Garcia said state transportation and homeland security authorities provide the following resources for travel conditions:

  • The free Indiana Travel Advisory App provides county travel status updates and alerts. The app, available to download for iPhone in the App Store, and Android in the Google Play Store, is a collaboration between the Indiana Office of Technology and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
  • The Indiana Department of Transportation’s TrafficWise website provides links to regional and statewide maps that include updated reports of traffic conditions, road closures, construction information and crashes for all state roads, U.S. highways and interstate highways.
  • The color-coded Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security map shows travel status by county.
  • Indiana road conditions also can be obtained by calling 1-800-261-7623.

The Indiana State Police offer the following tips:

  • Let someone know your route of travel.
  • Always keep the gas tank full when driving in cold weather.
  • Keep a winter survival kit in the vehicle; it should include blankets, extra warm clothes, flashlight, extra batteries, brightly colored cloth, sand or a bag of cat litter, shovel, candles and matches, non-perishable high-calorie foods, such as nuts, raisins, and protein or energy bars, newspapers for insulation, a first aid kit and jumper cables.
  • Do not leave the vehicle stranded because it is your best protection. Do not panic — an idling car only uses an average of one gallon of gas per hour.
  • Roll down a window a very small amount for fresh air.
  • Make sure the car’s exhaust pipe is not blocked to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • At night, leave the dome light on.
  • Always have a cell phone and a charger so that help can be contacted.

Emergency Management and Continuity is part of IU Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

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Sometimes Santa’s helper is dressed in blue Tue, 23 Dec 2014 19:49:27 +0000 Indiana University police officers made the holidays a little brighter for struggling families around the state this year through the annual Shop with a Cop program.

santa-hat-535896_640Men and women from police departments at IU Bloomington, IUPUI, IU Northwest in Gary and IU Southeast in New Albany took teens and children shopping for something special, such as a toy or music, and winter essentials, such as shoes and gloves.

“Many of us [police] can relate to the children who participate in the Shop with a Cop program whether we once attended the same schools, lived in the same neighborhoods or experienced the similar economic situations,” said Simone Evans, an officer with IU Police Department-Indianapolis who participated in the program this year. “By allowing the children to relate to officers, hopefully they realize the possibilities are endless for their own futures.”

Bill Abston, deputy police chief at IUPD-Indianapolis, said the program helps build positive relationships between police and the communities they serve. Establishing these relationships is an important part of policing any time of year, but it’s particularly important before an emergency or crisis, when parties can be under more stress. Laury Flint, IUPD-Bloomington police chief, said the Shop with a Cop program is a great way for police to “give back to our community.”

“It is a reflection of what being an officer is all about: helping people,” she said.

The Bloomington Herald-Times newspaper offered a first-hand account of a recent shopping trip involving Bloomington families and police officers from the Bloomington Police Department and IUPD. According to the article, the Don Owens Memorial Lodge No. 88 Fraternal Order of Police has been hosting the annual holiday program for at least 25 years. Social workers from area schools put families in touch with members of the FOP for a chance to participate.

“I am blessed. I was worried how my kids were going to get anything for Christmas,” a mother said in the article.

More from the article:

Two Indiana University police officers, the husband and wife team of Phil and Debbie Delay, have brought their own children since they were little. “I wanted them to know that there are kids who don’t have what they have. Sometimes they need help,” Debbie Delay said.

Ben Delay, who is now in graduate school, participated in the event for 10 years, his mother said.

And Sunday morning, 21-year-old IU student Rachel Delay helped a little girl pick out new pajamas. The PJ set was decorated with panda bears.

At the front of the store, retired Bloomington police officer and FOP member Bob Neely tallied the number of children who would be leaving the store with new clothes that fit.

Area police officers had already shopped with 69 children. Officers socialized at the front of the store, waiting for a few more.

Evans said that in the line of duty, officers often have to adopt a stern and stoic exterior that can be perceived by the public as cold and distant. The shopping trips allow the families they help to see a more compassionate side – that “police are people, too.”

“It is important that the public see the person beyond the badge,” she said. “We have varying personalities, likes and dislikes; but just like any person, we also have compassion and empathy as well. Police are enforcers of the law, but they are also protectors and servants to the people they serve.”

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Perks of working with safety, public health and security experts — very cool gift tips Tue, 16 Dec 2014 19:31:40 +0000 I have to admit that I LOVE gift guides. In the last month, I’ve perused gift guides for Him, handmade gifts (for purchase), modern gifts for pets, Oprah’s Favorite Things and guides for the perfect cooking-fitness-tech-whatever gadgets, to name a few.

If, like me, you’re still shopping, my colleagues at Indiana University Public Safety and Institutional Assurance have offered some great suggestions — in various price ranges – for gifts that make thoughtful picks any time of the year.

Mark Bruhn

Mark Bruhn

Nothing says “I love you” like an escape ladder or weather radio (both as low as $30). Mark Bruhn, associate vice president for PSIA, recommended these because they can be used to escape fires and prepare for severe weather.

Kim Milford, executive director of Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC), recommended some help remembering all those passwords – or better yet, an app that remembers for us. With apps such as the premium version of LastPass, all passwords can be stored in one place, improving security because of the ability to use more complicated, difficult-to-remember passwords.

Diane Mack

Diane Mack

Diane Mack, university director of Emergency Management and Continuity, offered survival-themed gifts, some of which are pragmatic while others are educational and entertaining: First aid kit (from $10 up); a DIY Go-bag survival kit; Large battery charger for a vehicle (most over $100); and books about survival, such as “The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead” (for adults) and “The Boys’ Book of Survival (How to Survive Anything, Anywhere)”. She also recommended survival-themed playing cards to help keep this useful information at loved ones’ fingertips: Wilderness Survival Playing Cards ($6), Urban Survival Playing Cards ($17), and The Don’t Die Out There! Deck of playing cards ($6.30).

Mike Jenson, Director of University Environmental Health and Safety, would like to have a functional Ebola vaccine for a holiday gift (price unknown). His gift suggestions include a food thermometer ($2 and up) because they can help prevent foodborne illnesses; safety glasses, which can help prevent eye injuries during all types of household chores; and an oil drain pain to aid in proper disposal of motor oil.

Crank-powered flashlights ($10 and up) make good gifts, according to Doug Booher, director of University Events Management.


Sara Chambers

Sara Chambers, chief privacy officer, recommends Radio Frequency ID blocking wallets ($17 and up) to protect from electronic pickpockets. She also recommends cross-cut or micro-cut paper shredders for home. They provide extra security by shredding personal documents in such a way that it’s almost impossible to put them back together ($30 and up).

Tom Davis

Tom Davis

Tom Davis, chief security officer at IU, also recommended a service to protect private information from cyber thieves and to simplify the use of passwords (prices at 1Password vary). He also recommended a personal data storage device such as this small number (under $20,) to secures data using hardware encryption and password protection.

Here’s a tip from the author – I find my portable battery charger for my cell phone and tablet extremely useful, so it’s a gift that appeals to middle-aged women like myself and teens like my son, who also asked for one for Christmas. They come in different storage amounts, prices, shapes, colors and sizes. Mine has two USB ports so that I can charge both of my devices if needed.

For folks in Bloomington, here’s an IU Bloomington-themed gift guide from InsideIU, IU’s official news source for faculty and staff.

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Pitch-in cuisine: You gotta know when to chill it, know when to toss it … Wed, 10 Dec 2014 04:30:00 +0000 The holiday season is a time of family, festivities and, of course, food, often in the form of pitch-ins (a.k.a. potlucks, buffets). But leaving food out for hours leaves the door open for uninvited guests: bacteria that could cause foodborne illnesses.



“The holiday season is such a busy time of year; it can be difficult juggling our demands for time,” said Kevin Mouser, environmental manager with University Environmental Health and Safety-IUPUI. “It’s easy to overlook some of the important details that can turn the hit dish of the pitch-in into the suspected source of the building’s foodborne illness outbreak.”

Indiana University does not regulate departmental pitch-ins — or tailgates, for that matter — unless the activities are sponsored by a campus entity and advertised as being open to the public. Graham McKeen, public health manager with University Environmental Health and Safety-Bloomington, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are 48 million foodborne illnesses each year in the U.S., including more than 100,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. The tips below are worth reviewing to keep the food from ruining the party, whether it’s a family gathering or department tradition.

“It’s all about proper hygiene, handwashing, and controlling time and temperature,” McKeen said. “Also, avoid preparing, serving and possibly even participating in these events if ill with something more severe than a common cold — with diarrhea or vomiting, for example — because these illnesses are more likely to spread through food.”

Mouser offers the following tips:

  • Recognize when you use ingredients that are considered “potentially hazardous” — those food items that normally require refrigeration at the grocery store. If your end creation uses potentially hazardous ingredients, the finished product will likely require refrigeration before being served (for cold dishes) or constant heat (for hot dishes).
  • Be sure to cover your dish while being stored or while transporting to work.
  • For cold dishes, cool as quickly as possible after preparing. Split large portions into smaller ones by placing in shallow pans and allow to cool in the refrigerator as rapidly as possible.
  • Maintain proper temperatures of the food once you arrive at work. Place refrigerated items immediately in a refrigerator or keep hot items warm (above 135 degrees) by means of a slow cooker or other similar means. (Chafing dishes heated by Sterno are not acceptable; with very limited exceptions, open flames are prohibited within IU buildings.)
  • Reheat your contribution thoroughly at the time of the pitch-in as quickly as possible to a minimum temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Provide serving utensils (spoons, forks, tongs, etc.) Use clean disposable gloves in those instances where direct food/hand contact is required when being served.
  • Recognize the four-hour rule. After four hours in what is considered the danger temperature zone (41 to 135 degrees), potentially hazardous foods should no longer be considered as safe and should be discarded.

Finally, if your group is considering deep fried turkey, please keep in mind that the turkey must be fried outside and a minimum of 25 feet away from any university building or combustible material, regardless of the type of fryer used. Dry mulch and fallen leaves are considered combustible material.

The IUPUI Food Safety Policy and University Environmental Health and Safety offer more food safety guidance and policies covering bake sales, campus gardens and more.

University Environmental Health and Safety is part of IU Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

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IU’s PIC policy is an important part of holiday fun involving both IU and children Mon, 01 Dec 2014 15:15:21 +0000 Post courtesy of Kasey Hayes, assurance programs specialist for IU Public Safety and Institutional Assurance

With the holiday season moving into high gear, Indiana University’s Programs Involving Children policy can get lost in the shuffle. PIC, however, is an important part of IU’s commitment to providing a safe environment for children involved with university-sponsored programs and activities and must be followed on all IU campuses.

Holiday concert

Holiday concert

The policy applies to IU-related events designed to attract or entertain children and can include such innocuous events as craft fairs and even visits from Santa Claus.

“The PIC policy applies regardless of whether parents or guardians will also be present,” said Jerry Minger, superintendent of Public Safety. “Everyone needs to ensure that they are monitoring the program staff and volunteers who will be working with children.”

The policy was adopted in 2012 and has four main components: the legal duty to report suspected child abuse or neglect, ensuring program staff and volunteers have been appropriately background checked, creating program-specific guidelines and policies, and registering each program in OneStart.

Don’t wait until the last minute. Here are some tips for complying:

  • At least 14 days prior to the start of a new program, the responsible university unit must document the event and policy requirements by filling out an online form located on OneStart. Follow the path Onestart=>Services=>Protect IU.
  • Background check requests should be submitted around the same time to ensure they can be processed in time for the programs.

Questions about PIC, such as whether it applies to a particular program, can be addressed by the IU Office of Public Safety Assistance also can be provided by Anahit Behjou,, and Kasey Hayes,

The IU Office of Public Safety is part of IU Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

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What would you do if you heard gunfire? Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:30:00 +0000

More than 150 people — first responders such as police and firefighters, communication staff, campus administrators — participated in an active shooter exercise at IU Bloomington on Tuesday, running through what they would do if a shooting occurred on campus.

Classes were not in session because of Thanksgiving break, but students and IU employees don’t need a formal exercise to think about possible actions they could take during a shooter scenario. This earlier blog post discusses the Run, Hide, Fight concept, a strategy that should be reviewed and considered because of the importance of having a plan.

The exercise is now history but its impact is far from over. I’ve started creating my to-do list and will begin chipping away at it today. And I’m not alone. A formal after-action report will be prepared and discussed with responsibility assigned for various solutions to issues ID’d during the exercise, where monitors carefully noted areas for improvement.

I’m including below a WISH-TV report of the exercise. It also was covered by the Bloomington Herald-Times, Indiana Public Media and WTHR-TV. The exercise was coordinated by IU Emergency Management and Continuity and is part of IUEMC’s active shooter exercise program, which has held similar exercises at most of IU’s campuses.

IUEMC is part of IU Public Safety and Institutional Assurance, which comprises IUEMC, IU Public Safety, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety Management and other offices designed to help keep IU students and employees safe from physical and cyber threats.


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It’s time to be extra careful about the spread of viruses and “bugs” Wed, 19 Nov 2014 14:09:48 +0000 This time of year is synonymous with colds, viruses and other nasty “bugs” that can make you sick.

Ill person

Finals week, holiday gatherings — not the time to share germs

In the colder months, we spend more time indoors and in close contact with others than in warmer months and many people, such as Indiana University students, live in shared housing, which offers opportunities for illnesses to be more easily transmitted.

“We’re indoors more, many people socialize and travel more this time of year because of the holidays. That’s why it’s especially important to follow good hygiene and health habits,” said Graham McKeen, public health manager for IU Environmental Health and Safety. “You want to share joy at family get-togethers, not nasty viruses.”

The flu is a contagious respiratory disease that infects the nose, throat, and lungs and can lead to serious complications, hospitalization, or even death. The best prevention against the flu is getting vaccinated. Flu vaccines are recommended for anyone over 6 months of age and should be received annually to best protect yourself and others. The flu vaccine is developed each year based on research that predicts the most likely strains that will be circulating in each season. That is why it is important to get one every year.

“Flu viruses can and do change, so the flu vaccine has to change to keep up with the changes in the virus.  That is why is it is important to get the flu vaccine each year,” said Dr. Stephen Wintermeyer, director of IUPUI Campus Health and associate professor of clinical medicine at IU School of Medicine.  “In addition the same basic health and hygiene habits that protect against the  flu also help protect against numerous illnesses.”

  • Cover: Cover your mouth or nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Throw used tissues into the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Clean: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, particularly after coughing or sneezing. Carry alcohol-based hand cleaner when soap and water are not available. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread this way
  • Clean: Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces in your living space (keyboards, remotes, sink handles, doorknobs and bathroom door handles).
  • Contain: Stay at home and rest if you are ill to both avoid infecting others and avoid those who are sick.
  • Don’t share: It’s also important to avoid sharing utensils and drinks.

More information and resources:

IU Environmental Health and Safety is part of IU Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.


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Continued collaboration, increased police patrols, geared toward keeping students safe Thu, 13 Nov 2014 16:33:55 +0000 Post courtesy of Mark Bruhn, IU’s associate vice president for public safety and institutional assurance.

All of us at Indiana University are shocked and distraught at the incident last weekend in Bloomington, where IU students were terrorized — two sexually assaulted at gunpoint — by two men who forced their way into their locked, off-campus apartment. Those three women and their families are in our thoughts.

We are immensely thankful for the very quick action by Bloomington and IU police officers, who quickly responded and apprehended the suspects. First on the scene, Bloomington Police Department Officer William Abram likely saved the lives of three people.

Mark Bruhn

Mark Bruhn

It is little comfort at this time to know that Bloomington is comparatively a safe city. Indeed, we all need to realize, sadly, that our community — any community — is not immune to this sort of heinous act.

The three victims did what they needed to do — what any of us should do — by locking their doors. We can only do what we can do, and then trust the humanity of the vast majority of people in whose minds perpetrating this sort of act would never occur.

While it is impossible to guarantee that this sort of act will never happen again, IUPD, working with our partners at BPD, is committed to doing whatever it can to make campus and the community as safe as possible. In that spirit, IUPD has periodically patrolled the blocks adjacent to IU Bloomington campus, depending on events and activities at specific times.

However, given the events of this past weekend, I have asked Chief Laury Flint to include IU-marked car patrols of populated neighborhoods two to three blocks out from the edge of campus, as a standard procedure, augmenting the coverage already provided by BPD.

It is important to note that BPD Chief Michael Diekhoff and his department have always been and will continue to be excellent partners, both in providing security for major IU events like football games, and in mutual protection of areas populated by students near campus. IUPD and BPD leadership communicate frequently and maintain an excellent rapport. IUPD and BPD officers train together, communicate extensively and provide mutual aid. This is an essential professional relationship, as neither department alone could provide the necessary protection for the entirety of the campus and city.

In addition to this added layer of patrol, I wanted to call attention to three courses offered by IUPD that may help individuals better defend themselves:

  • The Rape Aggression Defense System course for women is a program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques. The RAD system is a comprehensive course that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing to the basics of hands-on defense training. This course is scheduled when enough individuals express interest.
  • A less formal two-hour self-defense course for anyone, taught by IUPD Training and Education Unit Lt. Dave Rhodes.
  • A course in verbal-judo, which is about non-physical resistance, “de-escalating difficult situations using words and body language.” This course is taught by IUPD Education and Training Capt. Greg Butler.

Information about these courses is available by contacting Lt. Rhodes at

IUPD and Indiana University Public Safety are part of IU Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

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Winter is coming — are you prepared? Tue, 11 Nov 2014 15:01:52 +0000 Post courtesy of John Summerlot, emergency management coordinator, IU Emergency Management and Continuity.

John Summerlot and his emergency pack

John Summerlot and his emergency pack

At home, we generally feel like we are well prepared. We have extra clothes and extra blankets, cabinets stocked with food, etc. But you spend at least a third of your day away from home – either in your car or in your office. How prepared are you for winter weather emergencies if you became stuck in either of those places?

Becoming better prepared is as simple as pulling out an old backpack and stuffing some things in it that you already have around the house. Then, throw the backpack in your car. In the office, it’s as simple as re-evaluating the “junk drawer” and maybe putting some additional items in it.

Below is a list of items that you may want to consider having in your car or office “just in case” this winter. Keep in mind that if you are able to park close to your office, one kit might work for both.

  • Flashlight and extra batteries – Being stranded by the side of the road is a bummer. Being stuck in the dark is even worse.
  • Blanket(s) – Sleeping on the couch in the office break room or in your car is always easier when you are warm.
  • Extra layers – You know that old sweatshirt you should have thrown out a couple of years ago because you never wear it anymore? Put it to use and stuff it in your emergency kit. And the sweatpants that match it. Oh, and that [insert sports team you don’t really like anymore] knit cap you bought a couple years ago. And gloves.
  • Food – Granola bars and protein bars may not be your favorite snacks now, but if you are hungry by the side of the road or stuck in your office overnight, they may look a lot more tempting. A couple of cans of soup (with easy-open lids) aren’t a bad idea either.
  • Water – This may be more of an issue in your car than your office, but make sure you have a couple of bottles handy to wash down the granola bars and stay hydrated.
  • Toilet paper – Sure your office has plenty, but I doubt your car does.
  • Poncho – In case you have to cover a broken window after sliding off the road or use it as an extra layer over a blanket to stay warm. It’s good in case it is raining as well.
  • Crank-charger for your phone – Sure you can charge it in the office or car — unless the power goes out or you run out of gas. For as little as $20 you can get a small charger that recharges your phone by cranking a handle on the side. Besides, you are going to drain your phone pretty quickly sitting their bored playing Candy Crush and posting selfies to Facebook (#stuck).
  • Extra shoes/boots/socks – Especially if you often wear shoes that are not “all weather” or warm (I’m talking to you over there in the ballet flats).
  • And while you’re at it — Other things to consider include a small first aid kit, duct tape (fixes everything), pocket knife, small shovel, bag of sand or cat litter for extra traction if stuck, jar candle with matches (will really keep a car warm) and something to fight boredom (book, cards, crossword puzzle, etc.)

Remember, if you do get stuck by the side of the road in your car, it is a lot easier to find you when you are in your car. Don’t go wandering off, especially at night or in bad weather. Your car is also your shelter and will help you survive.

If you have questions or need additional information, check out You can also contact IU Emergency Management at 812-855-3549 or email me at

Summerlot is emergency management coordinator for IU Bloomington and the regional campuses. IUEMC is part of IU Public Safety & Institutional Assurance.

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IU Notify alerts: Safety vs. complaints Tue, 04 Nov 2014 19:38:05 +0000 Post courtesy of Mark Bruhn, IU’s Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

On one hand, the decision to issue an IU Notify emergency alert, even if it means waking up many people and their loved ones, is simple – it’s the right call to help students and employees avoid injuries (or worse) resulting from an immediate threat.

Red emergency buttonOn the other hand, it’s complicated.

In the heat of the moment, it can be difficult to determine whether actual and direct danger to an IU campus exists from an ongoing incident – and every situation is different. In some circumstances, it falls to one person, at say, 3 a.m., to make the best, timely decision.

IU has initiated an internal review process that now occurs within a day of a notification to review if the alert was handled appropriately. Decisions to issue an alert are made with the following considerations and limitations:

  • We are all keenly interested in maximizing the safety of our students, faculty and staff. In addition, IU administration places a great deal of emphasis on personal safety and has high expectations of IU Public Safety.
  • IU must comply with the federal Jeanne Clery Act, which requires IU to inform the campus community about a “significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus.” IU could be fined for failing to comply.
  • The Clery Act allows for a less urgent form of notification, which can involve email, but this is not suitable for immediate threats. How many people are reading email at 3 a.m., after all?
  • Current technology allows notices to target students and employees of individual campuses but recipients cannot be further narrowed to specific areas of campus. Also, there is no way to know who might be coming to campus and entering the danger zone during an incident.
  • Technology also limits the length of messages, thus the details that can be included.

The fastest and most complete way to notify everyone who may be affected by a dangerous situation is to tell EVERYONE. This includes Facebook, and Twitter, and digital signs — any method that will increase the possibility that people will see the alert and know that they need to protect themselves.

From the perspective of IU Public Safety and Institutional Assurance, which includes law enforcement for all of IU’s campuses, the decision between waking a bunch of people unnecessarily or having even one person get hurt or killed is really a no-brainer even though we know the alerts can be inconvenient.

In addition to the new mandatory reviews, employees who might be in a position to issue an alert undergo ongoing training because of the variety of situations that can arise on a college campus. During an incident, they consult with superiors if time permits, and use a decision tree that offers guidance based on the circumstances and federal law.

Here is how the decision tree would address a recent incident.

Someone robbed several convenience stores around the IU Bloomington campus and at one of those locations fired a gun at officers. It was clear that the individual was dangerous, but the shooting occurred perhaps two miles from campus. The shooter escaped in an unknown direction.

Here is the actual initial IUPD police report:

On 10/30/14 at approximately 00:19 hours, Bloomington Police Department dispatched an armed robbery in progress at the Circle K gas station on East 3rd Street. The suspects is described as a white male, approximately 6′ tall, wearing a white mask, a dark colored hoodie and dark pants. The suspect fired one round at a BPD Officer. The BPD officer returned 4 rounds. It is unknown if the suspect was hit.

IU Police, Bloomington Police, Monroe County Deputies, Indiana State Police and BHAS responded to the area. IU Police Officers deployed their rifles. [IU Notify] notification was put out at approximately 01:07 hours …

Now, to the decision tree:

Step 1. Has it been confirmed that an incident or crime poses a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on campus (may include Clery Reportable Crimes).

If “Yes,” continue.

Knowing that this guy shot at police officers, and not knowing which way he ran, and given a decent chance that he headed west toward campus, the person working this situation chose “Yes.”

Given what was known — and not known — and on what might have reasonably happened, was that a reasonable choice?

Step 2. Will the notification compromise efforts to contain the emergency — including efforts to assist a victim or contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency?

If “No,” continue. If “Yes,” provide justification at the end of this form.

This is related to whether sending an alert will actually make the situation worse, for example where sending the alert will give a suspect information that will allow them to locate victims, or escape. Here the choice was “No.”

Step 3. Send out an Emergency notification.

Emergency Notifications must:

  • Be sent without delay after the emergency has been confirmed.
  • Provide adequate follow up information such as an all-clear or updates about continuing steps taken to respond to an emergency, i.e. class cancellations, expiration of weather-related warnings, etc.

Emergency notifications may be sent to only a segment or segments of the campus community determined to be at risk. In this case, however, there was no specific audience that could be identified, such as students, faculty or staff, as the armed person could end up anywhere on campus.

So, given those choices, an emergency alert was sent.

On the other hand

Many students  complained because an IU-Notify emergency notification was not issued when two women who lived several blocks off campus were sexually assaulted in their residence and then the assailants shot at responding police.

While the Nov. 9 incident was relatively close to campus, police quickly caught the suspects so there was no ongoing threat to campus. If either of those armed and dangerous individuals had escaped and had been free for any length of time after the exchange of gun fire, there likely would have been an alert.

So, compared with the first example, where the person with the gun went in some unknown direction and so presented some risk to campus, in this case, there were no unknowns to consider.

It likely is impossible to create an emergency notification system that will not annoy anybody, but IU will continue training, reviewing and improving its alert system to make it as effective as possible.

The process is complicated. Still, we try very hard to measure every situation, weighing the possible danger to campus against inconvenience to the entire community. In situations where the danger is known, and the risk to campus is known, the decisions are easier; in cases where there are unknowns — well, we’ll all have to accept some level of inconvenience in order to ensure the safety of some.


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Information about Ebola Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:33:40 +0000

This video was prepared as part of ongoing efforts at Indiana University to provide current information about Ebola to students and employees. No cases have been diagnosed in Indiana and the risk of exposure to the disease in the U.S. remains low.

IU’s environmental health and safety staff are updating “Interim Guidance Concerning Ebola for Indiana University” at Protect IU.

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Safety matters at IU Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:15:32 +0000 This post, written by Mark Bruhn, IU associate vice president for public safety and institutional assurance, originally appeared on The Protect IU Blog.

IU President Michael McRobbie recently gave his annual State of the University address in which he laid out the framework of a University Bicentennial Strategic Plan. He specifically called out IU’s efforts in personal safety, and in information and physical security, and identified these as ongoing priorities:

“While American college campuses are and remain safe places where millions of individuals work and study, we have, in recent years, taken many steps to more effectively protect the health and safety of students and other members of the university community. We aim to prevent to the extent possible, and to respond effectively to, a wide range of hazards. All of our campuses have worked to create environments where sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. We have also taken strong anticipatory steps to strengthen the policing and environmental health and safety functions on all campuses. And we have created new and robust emergency management, data security, and enterprise risk management capacities.”

We in Public Safety and Institutional Assurance will continue to invest ourselves and our resources into assessing and improving the state of safety and security on all of IU’s campuses and locations.

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IU provides campuses with information concerning Ebola Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:15:33 +0000 In the face of mounting hysteria nationally about the Ebola virus disease, how about just the facts? Indiana University Environmental Health and Safety has compiled “Interim Guidance Concerning Ebola for Indiana University,” organizing the material according to audience:

ebola_from_thinkstock-webThe risk of being exposed to Ebola locally or even in the U.S. is low. Still, as the Environmental Health and Safety information notes, IU is aggressively monitoring the situation; increasing communication within the university and its campuses and with community partners; and relying on public health resources to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information available. Environmental Health and Safety staff plan to update the information as necessary.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie addressed the issue in a letter Thursday to IU faculty, staff and students. From the letter:

Despite a large number of international students on some of our campuses, most notably in Bloomington, we have only a small handful of students from the affected countries in Africa on our campuses. All have been in the U.S. for the duration of the current outbreak and pose no risk to others.

As part of IU’s commitment to the safety of its students and employees, we have created a website that provides the latest updates, guidance and university practices as they pertain to the Ebola outbreak. … Members of the IU community who are planning personal travel to the affected countries in Africa are expected to know and heed the directives within these documents.

Despite everyone’s best efforts, there is no guarantee that Ebola can be prevented on our campuses or in our campus communities. However, I want to assure everyone as necessary that this issue is receiving our utmost attention, and we will communicate regularly as the situation evolves as we work to keep our students and employees safe.

More information is available in a Safety Matters blog including a Q&A with Dr. Diana Ebling, medical director of the IU Health Center in Bloomington, and a WISH-TV report in which IUPUI Campus Health director Stephen Wintermeyer discussed IUPUI plans.

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5 questions about Ebola for IU Health Center Medical Director Dr. Diana Ebling Fri, 17 Oct 2014 20:04:21 +0000 Indiana University has an obligation to make sure its employees are able to respond appropriately if any students or employees contract Ebola or suspect they might have — even if the chances of this happening are remote. So, planning, communicating, information gathering and other efforts are underway.

Health & Vitality blogger Tracy James posed the questions below to Dr. Diana Ebling, medical director of the IU Health Center at IU Bloomington. Her counterpart, IUPUI Campus Health Director Stephen Wintermeyer, discussed the topic in this WISH broadcast.

A panel discussion that primarily focused on the dire conditions in Liberia was held on Oct. 13 at IU Bloomington. On Oct. 24, four life and health sciences units at IUPUI are sponsoring a public talk on legal, ethical and health-related issues relevant to the Ebola outbreak.

Dr. Diana Ebling

Dr. Diana Ebling

“Bloomington is a cultural melting pot but the risk of Ebola here is still low,” Ebling said. “I’ve been working in conjunction with other departments, including representatives from the President’s office, IU Emergency Management, IUPD, International Services, Environmental Health & Safety and our community resources to ensure that we’re as prepared as possible.”

More from Dr. Ebling

Health & Vitality: How concerned should we be in Bloomington and on campus about contracting Ebola, on a scale of 0-10, with 0 representing no concern?

Dr. Ebling: Even though Ebola is a frightening disease, it’s actually not highly contagious. It requires direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected, symptomatic individual to contract the disease. It can’t be transmitted through the air. Flu is much more contagious. There are thousands of deaths per year in the United States due to influenza. I think this helps put the risk in perspective. While the cases in Texas reminds us that it’s possible for Ebola to be diagnosed and to be contracted in the United States, it poses little risk for the general population.

If I had to quantify how concerned people should be about contracting Ebola here, I would say 0-1. It isn’t likely but it’s always possible we could see Ebola locally. As is true of any epidemic, it’s better to be prepared and not ever see it, than not to be adequately prepared. This is why the Health Center and the university are taking precautions and following CDC’s guidelines for universities.

Health & Vitality: IU Bloomington health and international services staff are taking extra steps or actions because of the Ebola threat?

Dr. Ebling: Prior to the beginning of the fall semester a travel notice was posted on the Health Center’s website advising anyone who has traveled from the affected countries to monitor their health for 21 days after leaving the country. Symptoms can appear from 2-21 days after exposure. Because we take care of a diverse population from many different countries our health care providers routinely take a travel history to determine a person’s risk of exposure to disease. If the history indicated that the person had been to one of the countries affected by Ebola, the appropriate steps would be taken and we would work closely with the State Department of Health.

Health & Vitality: How is this affecting research and travel by members of the campus community to West Africa?

Dr. Ebling: CDC has advised against non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. It is impossible to predict how long the Ebola epidemic will continue in these countries. The CDC has advised universities that the recommendation to avoid non-essential travel may remain in place for as long as the outbreak lasts. Currently, there is no IU-sponsored travel taking place in these countries and such travel has been curtailed until conditions improve.

Health & Vitality: If someone on campus was suspected of contracting Ebola, how would he or she be treated?

Dr. Ebling: If someone had been traveling in the affected countries in the preceding 21 days and exhibited symptoms of Ebola, they would be admitted to IU Health Bloomington Hospital and placed in strict isolation. The State Department of Health and CDC would be notified and the appropriate tests run to confirm Ebola. Anyone who had high-risk contact with the individual would be advised to quarantine and monitor their temperature and symptoms for 21 days. This is an evolving situation, however. The CDC is considering designating specialized hospitals for Ebola patients. If implemented, Ebola patients might not be kept at Bloomington Hospital.

Health & Vitality: Are these protocols new?

Dr. Ebling: In many ways it is a protocol that we follow for diseases such as measles or TB that are contagious and of public health concern. The major difference is the severity of Ebola — with a 50 percent to 70 percent fatality rate — and the need to isolate and treat in a hospital instead of isolating the patient at home.

While staff is aware of the protocol to follow for Ebola, also know it’s not enough just to have the personal protective equipment for providers and nurses to use, but training in its use is important. We are planning training sessions on the procedure for putting on and removing gowns, masks, face shields, gloves, etc. The situation in Texas really heightens everyone’s awareness and concern about this.

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Nude pics raise questions about cloud security Thu, 04 Sep 2014 19:33:51 +0000 Guest post courtesy of Health & Vitality blogger Tracy James

Readers who have no nude pictures floating around cyberspace might be tempted to ignore the news of hacked celebrity nudes.

Fred Cate

Fred Cate

IU cybersecurity law expert Fred Cate said the breach points to a need for tougher approaches to password selection on an individual basis and suggested in this Wired article that legal action resulting from the hack, which affected dozens of actresses, could force online companies to be more effective at protecting people who use their services.

Cate is director of the Indiana University Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research and the C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law. From the Wired article:

Indeed, Cate says there’s never been a successful lawsuit against a company for failing to impose strict enough login credentials. But he believes a high profile suit could change attitudes. “I think this could be just that sort of case,” he says. “It takes egregious cases to move the law along.”

If a lawsuit doesn’t ramp up security, Cate thinks legislators should. He suggested to WISH-8 that a law or regulations could help raise the standard of security by, for example, requiring companies to tell their customers to change passwords monthly.

Cate also provided some useful tips to WISH-8 for how you and I can choose stronger passwords. From the news report:

  • Pick a tougher password: use numbers, symbols, and random letters.
  • Make the password long.
  • Use a different password for every single online account, not just your bank account.
  • Change the password every month.
  • Use a password manager to keep track of all your passwords.
  • Don’t share that password with anyone: even a close friend.
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IU faculty, staff have role in stopping sexual violence Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:11:38 +0000 Guest post courtesy of Health & Vitality blogger Tracy James

Inside IU, the official newsletter for Indiana University faculty and staff, included an interesting article today about how employees should respond if approached by a student about an incident of sexual violence.

Woman with a sad, pensive expression

Some employees must immediately report all known information about a complaint of sexual misconduct to their campus Title IX coordinator.

University officials recently announced a Student Welfare Initiative designed to intensify efforts across all IU-administered campuses to prevent and respond to sexual assault and all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct.

From Inside IU:

An online guide that is part of a recently launched website highlights how university employees should respond:

  • “Responsible Employees,” a group that includes all supervisors, all employees that interact directly with students and all employees that students might reasonably believe have some authority to take action or duty to report, must immediately report all known information about a complaint of sexual misconduct to the Title IX coordinator or the Deputy Title IX coordinator for that campus.
  • “Confidential Employees” are the only individuals exempt from the reporting requirement, and include licensed, professional mental health counselors or staffers within student advocate offices specifically designed as non-professional sexual assault advocates for students.

The online employee guide states, for example, that employees should not promise confidentiality or pressure students to provide more information than they are comfortable sharing. The student should be encouraged to seek medical attention immediately.

The article includes contact information for reporting incidents on all campuses as well as background information about the ongoing review of IU Bloomington’s compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendment Acts of 1972, which prohibits all forms of sexual harassment, including rape and sexual assault.

From the article:

Representatives from the Office for Civil Rights will be on the Bloomington campus from Sept. 8 to 12 to conduct a site visit that includes student focus groups to gauge their general knowledge and experience with the university’s Title IX-related policies, procedures and resources. The office is conducting similar site visits at many colleges and universities, including several other Big Ten institutions.

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Indiana Lifeline Law: Make the call; get help; save a life Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:13:31 +0000 This post originally appeared on The Protect IU Blog

Indiana University fully supports the goals of the Indiana Lifeline Law.

There is no sense in someone being seriously injured or dying because someone doesn’t seek medical assistance for a person suffering from an alcohol-related health emergency, for fear of legal consequences. This law seeks to provide protections for those Good Samaritans who stay and help.

In the video above, Indiana State Sen. Jim Merritt and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller describe the law. More information also is available online.

The author, Mark Bruhn, is IU’s Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.

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Tornado season: Don’t let severe weather catch you by surprise Tue, 15 Jul 2014 14:40:40 +0000 Guest post courtesy of IU Communications multimedia intern Milana Katic:

Tornadoes are more frequent in summer afternoons, but can happen at any time of day. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Tornadoes are more frequent in the afternoon, but can happen at any time of day. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Mid-summer is the time for cookouts, beach days and general fun in the sun. However, mid-summer also marks tornado season in the Midwest, a time to keep a look out for any possible severe weather.

Debbi Fletcher, Indiana University Bloomington’s director of emergency management and continuity, said tornadoes can occur at anytime of day, and have occurred in every month of the year.

“The most important thing for people to do is to be aware of their surroundings, the threat for severe weather, and the shelter locations available,” Fletcher said. “You need to know the potential for severe weather, and the timing of that threat so you can be in the safest place possible.”

These tips can help ensure safety during severe summertime weather:

  • Stay aware: Know when severe weather might come. Pay attention to media outlets during storms, listen to weather radios, or download weather alert applications onto phones. For IU students and staff, pay close attention to the IU alerts.
  • Find shelter: As Fletcher put it, “Go low, go in.” Inside, go to the innermost and lowest part of a building. If you can’t get to a basement, make sure to stay away from windows. If outside, take the nearest shelter.
  • Wait for the “all clear”:  Tornado sirens only last five minutes, but the end of the siren does not mark the end of the warning. Stay informed with a weather alert system and wait for the “all clear” to be announced before leaving shelter.
  • Coming out: If you’re in an area with damage, check yourself and others, and make sure everyone is safe. Try to refrain from contacting family with a phone call because phone towers will be jammed with communication. Sending a text message or email will get the information to your family faster.
  • Have a plan: Above all, know your course of action in a tornado warning. Take these tips and build a plan to use in future situations.

Want more information on safety? Check out these resources:

Protect IU: Tornadoes and Severe Weather
Tornado Preparedness for Laboratories
U.S. Department of Commerce Preparedness Guide
American Red Cross Tornado Warning App


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Run, hide, fight Thu, 03 Jul 2014 15:12:28 +0000 Guest post courtesy of Health & Vitality blogger Tracy James

The challenging endeavor of helping employees and students prepare for an ambiguous, potentially deadly active shooter situation is underway at Indiana University.

Just the prospect of a shooting can be alarming. And no one single response to a shooting can be recommended and practiced because the possible scenarios — where and how it happens — are endless.

So, the concept of “Run, hide, fight,” is gaining buzz as a way for people to mentally prepare for the horrible. I hope everyone watches the short video, which discusses “Run, hide, fight” in detail. The article “Responding to an Active Shooter,” found on the Protect IU website, discusses the concept, too.

“Every bit of information empowers people,” said Debbi Fletcher, director of emergency management and continuity at Indiana University Bloomington. “Even if it’s scary, you’re better off. By mentally working through scenarios, by thinking about such things as exit locations or how to barricade doors, we can improve how we respond during a crisis.”

The active shooter article provides useful tips and insight into what to expect during such a crisis. Here are just a few:

  • If a safe path is available, run. Always try to escape or evacuate even if others insist on staying.
  • Hide if you can’t get out safely. When hiding, turn out lights, lock doors and silence mobile devices.
  • As a last resort, fight. Act with aggression, use improvised weapons and commit to disarming and taking down the shooter.

Fletcher said that the way people respond during an active shooter scenario ultimately is a personal decision, such as whether they choose to run or if they try to fight. People who are considered authority figures, however, such as instructors, will be looked to by the majority of students or people around them to take the lead during a crisis.

A free online course, “Active Shooter, What Can You Do,” is available through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. The self-paced course is geared toward a general audience and takes about 45 minutes to complete. Read more about the course and how to access it from this Protect IU blog post. Fletcher said additional safety training should be available this fall for IU Bloomington faculty and other employees.

A full-scale active shooter exercise — including costumed volunteers portraying victims — was conducted at IUPUI last year. A full-scale exercise is planned for IU Bloomington this fall. A precursor to the IU Bloomington drill, a table-top exercise took place last month involving about 80 employees comprising public safety, UITS, IU Communications and top administrators, among others.

The idea of “Run, hide, fight,” incidentally, is not just a campus-oriented concept. Fletcher said the advice could be used during active shooter situations in the community, such as in movie theaters and grocery stores.

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Securing your home network Fri, 27 Jun 2014 17:57:27 +0000 This post originally appeared on The Protect IU Blog

Having an open and unsecured home network is a risk as it may allow intruders to view your activity, gather information about you, or utilize your network for nefarious purposes. These can lead to potential legal issues, service outages, network performance issues, invasions of privacy, and identity theft.

home officeTo make your home network more secure, consider implementing the suggestions below. You may also refer to manufacturer’s documentation that came with your router/wireless router for the recommended configuration and settings.

Secure Router Configuration Basics:

  1. Change the default administrator password. The default password that came with your router is the same password used on millions of other routers of the same brand and model. It is the first password which will be tried by an intruder.
  2. Disable Universal Plug-n-Play (uPnP). UPnP is a built-in tool on routers that automatically adds supported devices to your network. Many versions of uPnP used on routers are also vulnerable. The most secure option is to turn it off.
  3. Disable remote access. Much like computers, vulnerabilities exist in many routers that could allow someone to discover your administrator password or gain unapproved access to your network. A particular danger is ability for a malicious person to access the router setup utility wirelessly thus providing a path to attempt other forms of exploits. By disabling the remote access feature, only a computer directly connected to the router via a network cable will have access to the configuration menu.
  4. Update firmware regularly. Firmware is the software which runs the device. Often, manufacturers will offer new versions of firmware that fix security and performance issues.
  5. Use WPA2 encryption. WPA2 encryption is currently the most secure encryption offered with home routers and may be selected as an option when connecting devices to your network. Not only will this prevent someone from sniffing your wireless activity for data to exploit, but it helps protect your network from unintended devices connecting to your network.
  6. Change the default SSID. The SSID (Service Set Identifier) is the wireless network name the router advertises to the rest of the devices on the local network. Usually, the default SSID displays manufacturer and model information. Change the SSID to something which does not provide device information as this information can be used to try to hack your system.
  7. Enable the router’s built-in firewall: A firewall is a collection of settings on the router that specifies what network traffic can come in to your network, and what network traffic can go out. Firewalls help protect all of the devices on the network. It is in your best interest to learn more about the use of firewalls. Older routers do not have built-in firewalls, so check your router manufacturer’s documentation.

Additional Steps:

Make sure that all devices on your home network have been configured with security in mind.

Use complex administrator passwords and rename devices on your network so the manufacturer and model of the device cannot be gathered by viewing the device’s network name. Remember to check on all your network devices: computers, printers, web cameras, smart phones, tablets, etc.

Advanced Steps:

  1. Use MAC Address allow list. A MAC address is the unique number assigned to every device that has the capability to connect to the network. Some devices have more than one MAC address due to multiple network connectivity options available (wired, wireless, Bluetooth). By configuring your router to only allow devices with the MAC address associated to your devices, it helps prevent unintended devices from connecting to your router.
  2. Setup a guest network. A guest network effectually divides your network in to two parts: one portion of your network that you use for all of your personal devices; and a second portion of the network, isolated from the first side, to which guests may connect their devices. This allows easy access to internet for guests while protecting your personal network and your devices. This may be important if guest devices are compromised with viruses which may try to infect other devices on the same network.

The author, Bruce Bryner, is lead security analyst for the University Information Security Office.

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Winter Preparedness: ‘Days of Shivery’ are back Thu, 14 Nov 2013 21:50:15 +0000 After reminding us of the unusually warm winter of 2011-12, the Farmers’ Almanac 2014 says that the “Days of Shivery” are back. The 197-year-old publication’s 2014 Winter Outlook map labels the Midwest as “biting cold and snowy.”

Looks like Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s Winter Preparedness Week comes just in time, Nov. 17-23.

Some folks don’t put much stock in the Farmers’ Almanac. Instead, they rely on the brown band markings of woolly worms – according to folklore, the width of brown bands on the creature’s coat varies proportionately with the severity of the upcoming weather.

Others prefer the persimmon-seed method of prediction. Cut open the seed of a ripe persimmon and look at the shape of the kernel inside. If it’s spoon-shaped, expect lots of heavy, wet snow. A fork-shaped kernel brings powdery, light snow and a mild winter, while a knife-shaped kernel will “cut” you with icy winds.

Whatever method you want to rely upon, winter is fast approaching. And winter weather is nothing to play around with, so be sure you’re prepared for ice, snow, wind, freezing rain and cold temperatures.

Those in the university community and beyond are encouraged to make sure their vehicles are in good working condition as the hint of chilly winds creeps in. That means check your antifreeze, wiper blades, tires and battery.

Additionally, vehicles should be equipped with jumper cables, a functional flashlight with extra batteries, an ice scraper, emergency flares, a blanket, a shovel and one or two bags of sand or rock salt. Think about adding a battery-operated radio to keep up with weather developments.

And in case you get stuck in the snow, throw in a few high quality provisions. Try peanut butter and crackers, dried fruit, granola bars and plenty of water.

Whether you’re walking to class, driving to work or just sledding and throwing snowballs, dress appropriately for outside temperatures during winter weather and carry a cell phone in case you get stranded or hurt.

Finally, in the event of severe weather, IU Emergency Management and Continuity personnel will use IU-Notify to send warnings to service subscribers. IU faculty, staff and students also are strongly encouraged to visit IU-Notify to review, verify, update and add contact information to ensure they receive IU-Notify messages in the event of an emergency. They should log in at OneStart to confirm that contact information submitted previously is still correct.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has excellent advice on how to cope with Indiana winter weather on its website.

About IU-Notify:
IU uses a variety of methods to provide emergency and safety information, including sirens, public address, Web pages, building stewards, residence hall assistants, broadcast and electronic media, and a consolidated communications system. Collectively, these capabilities are called IU-Notify. Designed to consolidate IU’s communications systems, IU-Notify greatly enhances the university’s ability to effectively transmit critical incident information.

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IUN Police Academy: ‘It’s about getting to know each other so that mutual respect can happen’ Tue, 17 Sep 2013 16:21:23 +0000 I remember how difficult it was to find creative, fun, safe and productive activities for kids during the summer months once school was out, especially as they approached and bridged over into being teenagers. That’s why this story about IU Northwest’s Police Academy, shared in Inside IU recently, really impressed me. Unusual? Yes! Fun and safe? You bet! Productive? All the way around for everyone involved!

Many, if not all, Indiana University campuses invest in their communities by creating camps for kids. They focus on everything and anything from the arts to sports to police camp. Check out the opportunities before next summer comes around. A good time to do that would be after you read this!

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The Indiana Lifeline Law Mon, 26 Aug 2013 14:35:10 +0000 Lifeline

A well documented hallmark of youthful thinking? A perceived sense of invulnerability.
The idea that bad things happen only to other people can land kids smack in the middle of harsh reality. This is one of the reasons that the Indiana Legislature passed the Indiana Lifeline Law in March 2012.
The Indiana Lifeline Law provides immunity for some alcohol-related offenses, subject to certain conditions, to Hoosiers who request medical assistance for someone in need or receive medical assistance due to a request by someone else.
Sometimes we all need to be protected from ourselves. Please take the time to review the Indiana Lifeline Law and be sure your loved ones know about it, too.

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Hazing is never OK Thu, 22 Aug 2013 15:04:19 +0000 August 2013: another promising and exciting academic year begins at Indiana University Bloomington.

I always look at the coming of a new year with a smidge of trepidation, but darned if I don’t keep humming “Be True to Your School.” The Beach Boys knew what they were singing about!

“So be true to your school now / Just like you would to your girl or guy / Be true to your school now / And let your colors fly / Be true to your school”

Yes, parking will be harder to find in Bloomington, and my favorite restaurants will have longer waits. I don’t even want to think about what having thousands of students return to campus will do to the traffic flow!

But here’s the thing.

In a college town, the vibe changes practically overnight, and it’s impossible not to be caught up in the excitement of everything new. While the laid back atmosphere of summertime — when it feels like vacation in your own hometown – is gone until next May, our university community vibrates (sometimes literally!) with the hum of young people. The international flavor returns to Bloomington with IU’s international students. Cultural and sporting events proliferate. But most of all, our purpose here at the university is renewed with the flow of new and returning friends.

But I was reminded this week of how all this youthful enthusiasm can get out of hand when I read the Aug. 20 column ”Hazing is never OK” on the USA Today editorial pages.  Written by Susan H. Murphy, a vice president at Cornell University, the column is well worth reading.

Hazing is not only a university problem, she writes, and should be recognized for what it is.

To put it plainly, hazing is bullying; it doesn’t matter where it occurs – on an elementary school playground, a high school sports team or in a university fraternity or bar. The trappings of tradition may be attached to hazing, but when “tradition” is cruel, disrespectful and downright dangerous, it is just bullying.

Call it hazing; call it bullying. It needs to be called history.

Friends and fans of IU, be true to your school. Take a look at the USA Today column and see how we all can contribute to positive change.

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United Front II Fri, 14 Jun 2013 20:13:30 +0000 Hot fun in the summertime – oh, yes! Temperatures reached about 95 degrees Wednesday in Bloomington and the humidity was high. So was the possibility that evening of severe thunderstorms with potentially damaging straight line winds. It all combined for a potentially nasty second day of United Front II search and rescue exercises, particularly when the players are wearing fatigues, heavy boots, hard hats, vests and protective respirator masks.

The collapsed Phi Kappa Psi on North Jordan.

The collapsed Phi Kappa Psi on North Jordan.

United Front II was based upon the scenario of an EF5 tornado striking Bloomington. Three buildings scheduled for demolition this summer, including the old fire-damaged Phi Kappa Psi fraternity on North Jordan, were collapsed in a coordinated effort to provide stages for several agencies to practice search and extraction techniques and emergency command systems, and to share best practices and experience. Among several partners was Israel’s Home Front Command.

As Maj. Gen. Eyal Eizenberg of the Israeli unit explained in a news conference Wednesday, war is the major threat to public safety in Israel. While in America, natural disaster is most often the cause, he pointed out that “the consequences are the same. Therefore, we have a lot in common.”

The Home Front Command unit of the Israel Defense Forces specializes in civilian protection, operating during emergency situations throughout Israel and around the world. Those folks are used to hot, dangerous situations — though not humidity, so much, they admitted, after sweating through the Hoosier afternoon sun. They had plenty to teach IUEMC and other partners in the United Front II operation, and they learned some things about multiple agencies working together.

The Emergency Operations Center for the exercise was on the second floor of the Bloomington Fire Department. Responding personnel implemented Unified Command there, a relatively new concept for the Israeli group. With people from the Indiana National Guard, IUEMC, IU Environmental Health and Safety, IUPD, the Bloomington Fire Department and the Home Front Command in the EOC, which agency would take the lead and which would support? How would collective resources be put to best use? Who has what equipment to bring to the situation and what other stuff would have to be found?

Those staffing the EOC would be there for at least 12 hours before another group takes over, so plans had to be made for what second-shift objectives would be. Maybe moving relatively fresh work crews from the frat house to the old post office location, or getting new equipment delivered overnight. Maybe figuring out where all of the donated materials flooding in can be sorted, used or stored, or where the rubble could be hauled off to.

Colonel Zohar Moshe and Colonel Haim Elisha, of the Israeli Home Front Command, in the Emergency Operations Center.

Colonel Zohar Moshe and Colonel Haim Elisha, of the Israeli Home Front Command, in the Emergency Operations Center.

EOC personnel also look out for those in the field, making sure they have what they need. Are they dressed appropriately? Are they aware of air temperatures or how much water they should drink every half hour? Do they need more lights for night searches? More shoring materials?

Another EOC task: accounting for everyone who was supposed to be in the fraternity house, or other buildings, when the tornado hit. Our Home Front Command friends working the EOC produced a faux list of people who were living in the fraternity. (I swear I had no idea that Mickey Mouse was a Phi Psi.) But a list is just a place to start. Keep in mind that it’s summer, so only about 65 of the normal 120 residents were expected to be there. That’s the good news.

The bad news? You may as well herd cats. You can check off the names of people who are located; Mickey Mouse is safe, but are others trapped? Who may have gone to visit a friend across town? And who may have had overnight guests to add to the list? Did anyone jump into his car to drive home ahead of the storm, and will he think to call and tell us he’s OK so we can check him off?

Our Israeli friends had numerous tactics about how to account for people based upon experience, both in practice and too many real-life events. While IUEMC and other emergency management personnel can learn a lot though planning and practice, we can learn faster by working with experienced friends.

Fortunately, it just looked like a tornado hit Bloomington this week. Despite the heat and the threat of bad weather, there was no such storm, and we all hope there never is.

And this highlights the great irony of emergency management. Baseball teams practice for the big game, and they play it. Actors rehearse for the show, and perform it. With emergency management, countless skilled and practiced people put time into making plans, practicing plans and then revising plans based upon exercise experience, all in hopes the plans never will be needed.

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Goodbye, IU! Hello, world! Thu, 02 May 2013 18:38:56 +0000 Goodbye, IU! Hello, world!

Over the next few days, students will participate in commencement ceremonies at IU campuses across the state. We’re ready. The herald trumpet is shined, the banners unfurled, the gowns pressed. Chairs and podiums are set up, microphones tested. Landscaping is in shape, with grass trimmed and flowers planted. Diplomas are ready to go. And because I work with IU Emergency Management and Continuity, I’ll assure you that security in place. So, now, on with the show …

And it is a wonderful show! Just outside my office window on a sunny Wednesday before the weekend’s commencement ceremonies, I see about a dozen students grouped under the Gothic arches of Indiana University Bloomington’s Sample Gates. Clad in graduation caps and gowns, they chatter happily with family and friends, and pose with a smile for just one more photo.

The same small yet momentous event happens every spring on IU campuses. The landmarks vary, of course. At IU Kokomo, the Well House by Wildcat Creek greets soon-to-be-graduates. At IUPUI, maybe it’s Don Gummer’s sculpture, “The South Tower”; at IU South Bend, the Crossroads Fountain; or at IU Southeast, the Amphitheater. Whatever the iconic backdrop, a cell phone or digital camera marks the spot and a significant life passage.

At IU Bloomington, the Indiana limestone Sample Gates graciously serve as the formal entryway to campus. Countless times throughout a given week, students pass back and forth through the gates and across bricked sidewalks going from classes to libraries to dorm rooms to cafes. But now, soon-to-be-graduates pose beneath its elegant arches. A moment in time is captured.

No matter what campus the photos are taken on, the students are often waving. And, I always wonder: Are they waving “goodbye” or “hello”?

There they are, our students at IU Bloomington, with backs to the beautiful campus now accessorized with cream and crimson tulips and framed by the gates’ arches. These “kids” look like they’re ready to greet whatever the future holds — careers or graduate school, new friends and communities, excitement and uncertainty.

And yet, after the photo is taken, the students linger at the gates. Maybe they are a bit reluctant to move on? Saying goodbye to friends and the place that has become home for the past few years is tough. New challenges, known and unknown, are ahead, and certainly there will be sorrow as well as joy, achievements as well as a few not-so-successful attempts.

I like to think that as students across our IU campuses pause at favored landmarks, it’s not to say goodbye or hello. I hope it is simply to savor and remember this amazing, hard-earned moment when all things are possible and the future beckons. I hope they pause to consider the love and support of family and friends, the experience and self-knowledge gained and the lessons learned.

I’m always happily surprised at the pride I feel when I see those students posing for cameras. I don’t even know most of them, but I enjoy looking on. And I speak for many of us at IU  who have seen our “kids” come and go over the years — 34 for me this spring.

May these soon-to-be-alumni always be safe and watch out for one another in an uncertain world. May they go forth to be good people doing good things. And may they return to their IU home for another photo moment or two.

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The Hoosiers are hot, but baby, it’s cold outside! Fri, 01 Feb 2013 16:42:10 +0000 ESPN GameDay: 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 2, Assembly Hall, Bloomington

Indiana vs. Michigan: 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2, Assembly Hall, Bloomington

Weather forecast: Friday night low of 15 degrees; Saturday high of 32; wind chill as low as 16 degrees

A fast-moving force is headed to Bloomington this weekend, and I don’t mean the Michigan Wolverine men’s basketball team, ranked No. 1 or 2 depending on which poll you read. The Wolverines are coming to B-town Saturday to take on Indiana’s Hoosiers, ranked No. 3, in a 9 p.m. game.

But basketball does have something to do with this post, along with the Alberta Clipper expected to follow the arctic air that brought this morning’s frigid temperatures with wind chills below zero.

A speedy, low pressure area, called an Alberta Clipper, brings snow and cold. Not a lot of snow, mind you, because it moves too fast to carry the moisture necessary for mounds of the white stuff. But you may be able to see where I’m going with this. Cold temperatures…a fast wind…a little snow…standing outside Assembly Hall early Saturday morning waiting to get into ESPN’s GameDay.

SO HEADS UP, HOOSIER FANS: After a Friday night low of 15, Saturday’s weather forecast calls for a HIGH of 32 degrees, with light snow, maybe 1 to 3 inches. The wind will be from 10 to 20 miles per hour. This stuff is important to know, because the doors to Assembly Hall don’t open until 8 a.m. for ESPN’s 10 a.m. GameDay broadcast. But you can expect hoards of faithful zealots to gather long before that. And they may possibly be in costume designed to capture the attention of cameras. Hopefully, fans will remember to wear warm coats.

Dressing warmly in winter weather qualifies as a no brainer, right?

You’d think so, but in the emotional heat of the BIG game, fans have been known to abandon all common sense. You’ve seen them, even at cold football broadcasts — goofy college guys with bare chests painted in school colors and wearing funny wigs. They’re screaming for the camera, arms pumping hard, hands flashing the universal “we’re number one” sign, even if they are not. Their mothers’ have to be proud.

The weather isn’t expected to improve by game time, but will linger into Sunday.

So in your excitement and anticipation of the biggest game of the year thus far in this return-to-glory 2012-13 season, don’t forget your coats. Hats, gloves, scarves – they’re good, too. Shoe and socks — or even better, boots and long johns — go without saying.



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The next alert may not be from us! Thu, 17 Jan 2013 17:33:28 +0000

I think you’ll want to read this message that my colleague Jesse Campbell wrote and posted to the Protect IU blog. With new technology, FEMA and wireless phone companies can now send emergency alerts to your smartphone. It’s a good thing … I think.

by Jesse Campbell, IU Emergency Management and Continuity

With each new communications technology, there are efforts to see how it can be used to warn people of danger. The town bell could be used to sound an alarm as well as toll the hour of the day, your TV could switch from showing you cartoons to giving you a weather alert, and IU-Notify can interrupt your dinner to let you know the campus may be about to experience something dangerous.

The latest technology advance comes from FEMA and the wireless phone companies, and it’s called Commercial Mobile Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts. While you might not have heard about these standards, you probably are set up to get them. Just as the Emergency Alert System can override the game on TV to bring you a tornado warning, the WEA can connect to your cell phone and tell you about a danger, an AMBER alert or a message from the president.

Unlike IU-Notify, a WEA is issued to all active smartphones near specific cell towers. If the phone has the functionality, it will pick up the message and relay the alert. So if you are taking a trip to New York City, and the National Weather Service issues a blizzard warning, this technology will allow them to notify your phone just because you are near a cell tower in New York City. You don’t have to go to a Web page to tell the City of New York that you are there; they will just blast it out, and if you are there, your phone has the WEA feature and you have the WEA feature turned on, you’ll get the message, day or night.

Does your phone have this functionality? If you bought it in the past six months, then most likely, yes it does. IPhones running iOS 6 and Droids running Ice Cream Sandwich have settings that turn some messaging on or off. In the coming year, expect all new smartphones to transition to having WEA capabilities.

If your phone has it and you don’t want it, you can turn off some WEA alerts. Presidential alerts can not be turned off, so if the president of the country wants to tell you something, you will be alerted. We anticipate that only being used in a significant crisis. But there are also AMBER alerts and, depending on your device, one or two levels of emergency alert.

At this time, IU does not have the ability to integrate IU-Notify with this system. It is for government agencies only. That may change down the road, and we are constantly looking at ways to better target IU-Notify messages to those who need to hear them most. We don’t enjoy getting woken up at 3 a.m. about a problem at a campus 100 miles away that doesn’t really affect us, but the law says we have to put those messages out there any way we can.

Want to know more? Check your phone’s manual, for starters. There are simply too many out there for us to tell you every which way this could be set up on your device.  FEMA has some more detailed information about the roll out and methodologies, as does CTIA – The Wireless Association, a wireless carrier trade group. CTIA also has a FAQ where you will find links to every major carrier’s information for compatibility questions and, hopefully, instructions on how to find the setting on your phone. The FAQ also answers a host of other questions regarding this new technology.

So, as time goes by and more government entities implement this standard, odds are we won’t be the only ones sending you alerts anymore. Know what your phone can do, adjust your settings before an alert, and get an idea of what an official alert will look like so you can react appropriately and quickly should an alert be issued for your area.

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Fight the Flu Wed, 16 Jan 2013 15:52:43 +0000 It’s baaaack!

According to The Associated Press, the flu is widespread in the Hoosier state, although it hasn’t reached epidemic levels reported elsewhere. The state-by-state report said Indiana health officials are calling the 2012-13 flu season “moderately severe.”

As of Jan. 14, 21 flu-related deaths were reported in Indiana.

But all is not lost. Take action now to limit your chances of a close encounter of the viral kind.

First, it is definitely not too late to get a flu shot. It is the single best way to reduce your chances of getting the flu, says Dr. Diana Ebling, medical director at the Indiana University Health Center in Bloomington.

The vaccine is generally still available, but the Centers for Disease Control have reported spot shortages across the U.S. On Indiana University campuses, IU South Bend has no supply of vaccine but does have more on order. IU East, Northwest, Bloomington and IUPUI currently are offering flu shots. IU Kokomo is not currently providing the vaccine on campus. All clinical staff working in IU Health facilities are required to have flu shots.

Keep in mind that the vaccine protects only against those versions of the virus that health experts predicted would be active this season. But that’s nothing to sneeze at. It’s all about risk reduction, right?

Next, by all means, practice good health habits. You know what they are.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. And if you are the sneezing, coughing sicko, for goodness’s sake, keep your distance from others. Go home if you are ill, and stay there until you haven’t had a fever for 24 hours. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue — or even your sleeve works in a pinch — when you cough or sneeze.

Other recommendations? Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

Most flu-sufferers can be treated symptomatically for aches and pains, congestion, coughing, sneezing and fever. At the IU Health Center, Ebling says that students typically are given a “flu kit” that includes a thermometer, cough medication, ibuprofen for body aches and fever, paper face masks to wear in close proximity to others, and tissues.

Only those people at high risk of complications need to get treated with antiviral medications such as Tamiflu or Relenza. This would include, but isn’t limited to, people with asthma, chronic illness or immunodeficiency disorders.

If you have the flu, Dr. Ebling suggests you follow the guidelines on the Health Center website at And while you’re thinking about the flu, check out the Fight the Flu poster on

In fact, for the good of the cause, print out a few of those posters. Read them, memorize them, post them.



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Muscatatuck, “Beetlejuice” and disaster Mon, 03 Dec 2012 20:11:22 +0000 I’ve not been long acquainted with emergency management. But I’ve seen enough to know that “being prepared” (yes, go check the batteries in your flashlight) is not a mantra meant only for you and me.

Emergency-management and first-responder types believe in what they preach and are armed with a system that can be applied to an incident of any kind, inflicted by nature or mankind. They practice, practice, practice. To mitigate disaster becomes second nature, to bring order to chaos, nearly instinctual. It’s all part of the plan.

Three of IU’s emergency management professionals, Diane Mack, Joe Romero and Carlos Garcia, deployed recently to New Jersey and then New York to assist with Hurricane Sandy emergency response. They set out for the East Coast, each armed with a “go bag” – a stash of clothing, equipment and supplies packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice – and a battle-tested system.

The system – the National Incident Management System or NIMS – provides the structure for “a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating and taking corrective action” during an incident response. Adapted from the National Forest Service’s framework for fighting wildfires in the West, NIMS’ beauty is that as a disaster grows, the system likewise expands to provide appropriate and coordinated response.

But as large as the effort may become, all responders follow the same plan. They speak the same language. They know the drill.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has aggressively promoted NIMS since disasters like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, and provided innumerable training opportunities. NIMS allows emergency management folks like IU’s to be part of first-response teams when necessity calls. The team arrives on site, and everyone – including the local first responders – knows what to do.

But disasters are generally uncooperative, and real hurricanes and tornadoes, thankfully, can’t be summoned for practice purposes. How do you practice for this stuff?

Just outside Butlerville, Ind., is Muscatatuck Urban Training Center. Once the “Indiana Farm Colony for Feeble Minded Boys” (seriously, it was called that), Muscatatuck now is managed by the Indiana National Guard and is used for training and practicing various first-response situations, using the NIMS system. Individuals from police and fire departments, branches of the military and even the U.S. Foreign Service Institute have trained there. The facility, which I’m told is the most extensive of its kind in the world, has “hosted” tornadoes, fires, floods, prison riots, chemical spills and who knows what else.

I can’t verify it, but people in the know say the Israeli army has put Muscatatuck to good use. I was there recently during a weeklong staged scenario that called for an F4 tornado with resulting fire and flooding. Representatives from the U.K. were there to watch.

Being at Muscatatuck reminds me of the movie “Beetlejuice.” The grounds are … well, bizarre, like Beetlejuice’s underworld and or the character himself. They feature purposely collapsed structures, an abandoned hospital, a mock embassy of the United States of America complete with surrounding walls, old dorms now doubling as a prison compound decked with coiled barbed wire and an oil refinery capable of “exploding” on cue. There are crashed and smashed vehicles everywhere, piles of safely searchable rubble, a decrepit trailer park and a flooded village ready for search and rescue.

A faux Afghan street market, with buildings tagged in Farsi, stands ready for American troops taking language and culture classes before heading overseas. On the syllabus: the proper way to enter a mosque (the one at Muscatatuck easily morphs into a Christian church by switching the crescent on top to a cross). A resident camel – someone said her name is Amy – and a herd of goats add ambiance.

Muscatatuck engineers recently added the only subway in Indiana, with two cars donated by the city of Chicago. Yes, it really is underground, with stairs descending to a platform that can be flooded just like Hurricane Sandy deluged parts of New York City’s system. Now, a train station is under construction.

During an exercise, it’s not unusual to see “bloodied” and “bandaged” actors, one trapped in a vehicle under a collapsed radio tower, another lying in the grass outside a house trailer. They apparently are rescued, because later they reappear in the cafeteria having lunch, or in a golf cart being chauffeured to the next incident – a hospital evacuation, maybe? A gas station on fire?

Believe it or not, there are companies that specialize in setting the stage for mock disasters. They bring actors and makeup artists. Mock media get in the way with television cameras, an online newspaper is published and updated with “news” of the moment, social media spreads rumors, practice press conferences are held.

At one point during the F4 tornado exercise, I acted as the governor at a press conference. A detail of four state troopers followed me around. I walked to the water fountain and heard behind me, “the governor is on the move,” and the detail traipsed along after me. (Is that fun or what? I felt like Cleopatra with her phalanx in tow.) One of them showed me how they would get me out of the building if something went wrong.

Now, Muscatatuck might just sound like fun and games – a movie set or Disney World run amok. And, honestly, there are a lot of laughs in training exercises, especially as the week winds on.

So at least twice a year, first responders come to Muscatatuck to wrestle with disaster. They bring fire trucks, ambulances, police cruisers and the National Incident Management System to reign in the Beetlejuice-like craziness.

Let me assure you: Even as first responders and emergency-management professionals refer to exercise participation as “play” (as in play-acting), they treat emergency management as serious business. They “play” hard, they work hard, they have our backs. (Now, go watch “Beetlejuice.”)

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Winter’s back! Are you ready? Tue, 06 Nov 2012 19:56:09 +0000 “Over the river, and through the wood, to Grandfather’s house we go…”

That is unless you are stalled by a winter storm. Just in time for Thanksgiving, which the opening line (above) of Lydia Maria Child’s poem “Over the River and Through the Wood” commemorates, the National Weather Service is reminding Hoosiers that November 17 to 23 is Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Indiana.

You probably are not traveling by horse-drawn sleigh toward pudding and pumpkin pie as the poem’s happy and excited children were, but you still need to be careful on foot or in your car. Winter weather is nothing to play around with, so be sure you’re prepared for ice, snow, wind, freezing rain and cold temperatures.

Those in the university community and beyond are encouraged to make sure their vehicles are in good working condition as weather begins to creep in with the hint of chilly winds. That means check your antifreeze, wiper blades, tires and battery.

Additionally, vehicles should be equipped with jumper cables, a functional flashlight with extra batteries, an ice scraper, emergency flares, a blanket, a shovel and one or two bags of sand or rock salt. Think about adding a battery-operated radio to stay up on weather developments.

And in case you get stuck in the snow before you reach Thanksgiving dinner, throw in a few high quality provisions. Try peanut butter and crackers, dried fruit, granola bars and plenty of water.

Whether you’re walking to class, driving to work or just sledding and throwing snowballs, dress appropriately for outside temperatures during winter weather and carry a cell phone in case you get stranded or hurt. It’s really not good to be cold, wet and immobile in winter weather. You probably knew that, but take one more step and be prepared for it.

Finally, in the event of severe weather, IU Emergency Management and Continuity personnel will use IU-Notify to send warnings to service subscribers. IU faculty, staff and students also are strongly encouraged to visit IU-Notify to review, verify, update and add contact information to ensure they receive IU-Notify messages in the event of an emergency. They should log in at OneStart to confirm that contact information submitted previously is still correct.

More information about IU-Notify and other university resources for emergency management and continuity can be found at and on Facebook at or follow @IUEMC on Twitter. Also, on the Protect IU blog at you’ll find new winter safety tips every day until another Indiana weather season comes along!

Safety tips to help you prepare for a number of situations and sorts of weather can be located at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security web site.

About IU-Notify:

IU uses a variety of methods to provide emergency and safety information, including sirens, public address, Web pages, building stewards, residence hall assistants, broadcast and electronic media, and a consolidated communications system. Collectively, these capabilities are called IU-Notify. The IU-Notify project, designed to consolidate IU’s communications systems, greatly enhances the university’s ability to effectively transmit critical incident information.


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Boo! Time for…. Mon, 29 Oct 2012 15:39:13 +0000 Late October and what are Hoosier kids and their parents looking forward to? Sorry, basketball is the WRONG answer. It’s Halloween…they’re looking forward to Halloween…candy and costumes, goblins and ghosties, punkins’ and pranks.

(An aside: I admit that Hoosier Hysteria, iconic in its intensity, does inspire the same shivery, delicious anticipation as a spooky holiday outing. Yes, we ARE No.1 and we ARE looking forward to basketball!)

So, just to keep your attention, let’s pretend you’re hooping it up out at the driveway basketball goal. After crowds of imaginary fans flood the floor to celebrate your buzzer-beating bucket (too bad for you, Kentucky!), take a timeout. Think about safety. Halloween safety.

IU Emergency Management and Continuity folks would direct your attention to the rules of the game for a Night of the Living Red. Visit for simple guidelines to a winning game plan compiled by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Everyone knows to watch out for the thankfully-rare-but-unbelievably-foul practice of passing out tainted goodies. (I know a man whose Halloween costume consisted of an wearable, oversized paper bag with a scary face painted on and a cut-out mouth labeled “razor blades here.”) But there is plenty more that the whole team — motorists, homeowners and trick-or-treaters, alike — can do to assure a safe and fun holiday.

The list reminds revelers of all the usual but still effective precautions. Be sure your kid’s costume is labeled “flame resistant” and decorated with light-reflective tape that will glow in the dark, for example. Homeowners welcoming trick-or-treaters should clear obstacles from sidewalks, steps and porches, and restrain pets. Or, if you are driving, be especially watchful since excited children could dart into traffic like a Hoosier setting a defensive pick.

A little bit of caution goes a long way toward creating a safe Halloween. So after a good time out, look at that list of safety tips. Then whip up a little preseason excitement for the kids by reading a choice poem or two by another Hoosier icon — James Whitcomb Riley, the famous .

I recommend starting with “When the Frost is on the Punkin'” which for the basketball purist will call to mind the late autumn corn fields depicted in the classic basketball movie “Hoosiers.” Then move on to “The Little Orphan Annie.” (No relationship to the hardwood  in this poem, but it might remind readers that there is more to love in Indiana than hoopsl.)  Read out loud with your best spooky voice and slow way down when you get to the part that sends awesome chills through little boys and girls who’ve been rude and disrespectful.

“When the night is dark and scary,
and the moon is full and creatures are a flying and the wind goes Whoooooooooo,
you better mind your parents and your teachers fond and dear,
and cherish them that loves ya, and dry the orphans tears
and help the poor and needy ones that cluster all about,
or the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!!!”







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