NUPD advisory board suggests new feedback system, additional oversight


File photo by Brian Bae

President Joseph E. Aoun established the NUPD advisory board over the summer following Black Lives Matter protests regarding police brutality and racism.

Jessica Silverman, deputy campus editor

In an email to students Monday, chair of the Northeastern Police Department advisory board, Jack McDevitt, detailed a new university-wide feedback system for the Northeastern University Police Department, or NUPD, and recommended the Office of University Equity and Compliance, or OUEC, participate in investigations of officer misconduct.

President Joseph E. Aoun established the NUPD advisory board over the summer following Black Lives Matter protests regarding police brutality and racism. The board is composed of 15 people, including university faculty, staff, students and members of the Boston community. The board is meant to serve as a forum for students to discuss their experiences with NUPD, promote fairer policing and improve relations with the surrounding community. 

After meeting with student organizations and movements on campus such as #DefundNUPD, #BlackatNU and #BlackVoicesMatterNEU, the advisory board has unveiled its recommendations to address accountability issues within NUPD.

“Based on the experience and expertise of members of the Board, and suggestions from these Town Hall and Listening Sessions, a number of themes have emerged including the need for a more robust feedback channel between members of the Northeastern community and NUPD,” McDevitt wrote in the email.

The new system proposed, the email said, “would allow any member of the Northeastern community (students, faculty, staff or Boston area community members), to file a complaint about actions of a member of NUPD, offer a condemnation for services by a member of the NUPD, or request information about NUPD policies and practices.”

The university-wide feedback system will be available at several places on campus including the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, the Latinx Cultural Center and the OUEC, with more to be revealed in the next two weeks. Once staff members at these offices undergo training, they will be able to receive feedback from the community in person, online and anonymously. 

In addition to the new feedback system, the board also advised the OUEC to get involved in officer misconduct investigations. The OUEC is responsible for making sure Northeastern complies with government regulations relating to anti-discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title IX.

“A clear theme from the Town Halls and Listening Sessions was a desire for additional transparency into NUPD practices,” McDevitt wrote. “… OUEC is expected to be a valuable contributor in this process given their experience conducting similar investigations including the Title IX allegations.”

The Board plans on making additional recommendations throughout the semester as they continue to hear from the Northeastern community.