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Community Engagement Unit

Illinois State University Police's Community Engagement Unit began in 2019 with a primary focus to engage and educate the campus community. Consisting of one sergeant, two officers, and Pawfficer Sage, this unit is available to deliver a variety of free programs.


The Community Engagement Unit, including Pawfficer Sage.
  • Pawfficer Sage.

    Pawfficer Sage

    Pawfficer Sage is the department’s Outreach K9. After completing over 1200 hours of training with SIT Service Dogs in Ava, Illinois, Sage arrived at Illinois State in the summer of 2019 thanks to a successful Hatch fundraising campaign. When she's not snuggling a blanket in the Deputy Chief's office or chasing a ball down the hallway to the squad room, Sage is roaming with our Community Engagement Unit building relationships. Her only talent is affection; Pawfficer Sage does not detect any substances nor does she work in apprehension.

    Thanks to the immense generosity of an alumna and of our community, Birds Give Back 2021 funded the Susan, Darrell, Sadie, and Samantha Cameron Community Engagement Endowment. This endowment ensures that Illinois State University will always have an outreach K9 on staff, much to the benefit of our student body.

    Give to the Cameron Community Engagement Endowment

Programs Offered

Request a Program

  • Alcohol and DUI Awareness

    45 Minutes

    This presentation teaches participants about the negative consequences of significant alcohol consumption. This includes topics such as the alcohol content of popular drinks and clues to look for in someone who may have had too much to drink. This presentation can be given in lecture format or can be hands-on, such as having participants use drunk goggles.

  • Bird Watch: Campus Crime Prevention

    60 Minutes

    This presentation addresses topics such as crime reporting, dealing with hostile people and other threats, and being a good Redbird. Participants will also learn about the various campus safety measures and initiatives that are currently in place.

  • Campus Violence: Prevention & Preparation

    60 Minutes

    This presentation starts with a discussion of ISU's active aggressor initiative, Run-Hide-Fight. Additionally, participants will learn more about threats and active aggressors. This training cumulates with a hands-on activity where participants will have the opportunity to practice what they learned.

  • Coffee with a Cop, Lunch with the Law, Dinner with a Detective

    60 Minutes

    Join University Police and tell us about how your semester is going, ask us questions, or clear up the confusion that's been on your mind. Have no concerns to talk about? That's okay too! Just kick back and talk about the latest movie releases or what books you are reading.

  • Cyber & Electronic Safety

    60 Minutes

    This presentation focuses on cellphone safety, social media safety, email phishing scams, and identity theft. Attendees will learn how to protect their devices and how to avoid becoming a victim of theft, scams, blackmail, and other crimes.

  • Drugs of Abuse & Misuse

    30 Minutes

    This presentation teaches participants about the various illegal drugs and the typical side effects and dangers of using them.

  • Emergency Response Unit & Crisis Negotiation Team

    60 Minutes

    This presentation is a look at two of the most exciting units in law enforcement: The Emergency Response Unit (commonly known as SWAT), and the Crisis Negotiation Team. You will learn about the training required to be a member of these units, what each member does in their respective unit, the equipment used, and the types of calls each unit handles.

  • Emotional and Social Intelligence

    120 Minutes

    This discussion is focused on improving self-wellness and personal resiliency. Teaching attendees to gauge their emotional state is especially important in high-pressure situations. This training benefits the participant by improving departmental morale and public trust, as well as improving situational outcomes in order to avoid civil liability for themselves and their agencies.

  • Illinois Cannabis Laws & DUI Procedures

    60-90 Minutes

    In this presentation, attendees will learn about Illinois Cannabis Laws, medical cannabis, transportation of cannabis, and cannabis production. We will also cover Cannabis DUI, including a suspect’s rights and the penalties for such violations.

  • Lights in the Mirror

    60 Minutes

    This presentation teaches participants what to expect in the event you get pulled over in a traffic stop. We will cover general rules, your rights, the officer's rights and expectations, and officer discretion.

  • Meet and Greet the CEU and Sage

    30 Minutes

    Request a visit from the Community Engagement Unit and Pawfficer Sage to your classroom or RSO. Have an open conversation and ask questions about the role our CEU plays on campus, as well as the role of Sage as a therapy K-9. Don't have questions? Just say hello, and give plenty of belly rubs.

  • Personal Safety

    60 Minutes

    This presentation gives participants an overview of crime on campus, including the types and potential causes. Additionally, participants will learn about things such as the blue lights on campus, when to call the police, and the safety resources on campus. This presentation is delivered in lecture format.

  • The Law and You (Sponsored by Allstate)

    75 Minutes

    This presentation offers participants the opportunity to learn about the law, specifically when it comes to dealing with law enforcement. Participants will learn about different types of police encounters and your rights in each. Participants will also learn about traffic stop procedures and what police officers can and cannot do during them. This presentation is delivered in lecture format.

  • Verbal Judo

    1, 2, or 4 Hours

    Verbal Judo is a verbal de-escalation tactic useful to those in law enforcement and other professions in which clear and calm communication is necessary. This course teaches communication techniques that can reduce conflict while achieving professional goals.