Proposed Evanston budget could decrease EPD presence at NU football games, Dillo Day


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

Ryan Field. A proposed 2019 Evanston budget could end Evanston police presence at Northwestern football games and Dillo Day.

Joshua Irvine, Reporter

Changes to Evanston’s operating budget could end Evanston police presence at Northwestern football games and Dillo Day.

The proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year beginning in January eliminates overtime pay for Evanston Police Department officers assigned to home football games at Ryan Field and Dillo Day, compromising EPD’s presence at the events. These events are typically jointly policed by EPD and University Police, said Evanston police Cmdr. Ryan Glew.

The cuts to police overtime would reduce the city’s expenditures by $91,000, according to the proposed budget by city staff —$7,000 from Dillo Day and $12,000 from each of the seven planned home games next year. The cuts are part of a greater effort by the city to combat a $7.4 million deficit and bring the city’s general fund into a positive balance, according to the proposal.

University police referred comment to NU spokespeople. University spokesman Bob Rowley said any changes are “still premature and speculative” since city aldermen have yet to approve the budget proposal.

“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on any security changes or measures undertaken by the Evanston Police Department,” he wrote in an email to The Daily. “Northwestern has no greater duty or priority than the security and safety of our students.”

Glew emphasized that any potential changes to policing will not be implemented until the budget is finalized and adopted by city aldermen later this fall.

He added that the Evanston and University chiefs of police had spoken about the proposed changes, though he could not provide details.

“We’ve engaged the University in conversation on the budget and its possible impact on Northwestern,” Glew said.

A spokesperson for the athletics department told The Daily in an email that they are monitoring the situation and remain in communication with Evanston.

“The safety and security of guests in and around our venues is of paramount importance, and we will take whatever steps necessary to ensure that continues,” the spokesperson said.

Evanston police officers typically help with traffic and crowd control during home football games and the annual Dillo Day. Sixteen people were taken to the hospital for alcohol intoxication during Dillo Day this year, an increase from 15 people last year and a decrease from 28 people in 2016. Citations were also down following a partnership with Northwestern Student Affairs to encourage non-disruptive behavior.

Syd Stone contributed reporting.

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