Skip to main content

Online mentions around university police departments more than doubled this week due to several campus incidents including a missing-person case at Louisiana State University and University of Minnesota police being deployed during an off-campus protest following the police killing of Daunte Wright.

With national conversations taking place about policing more broadly, university police forces, including those at LSU and the University of Minnesota, have not been immune to calls for increased transparency. We take a look at some of the trends from the past six months.

By the Numbers (Last 6 Months):

  • There have been over 12K mentions of university or campus police in TV and radio coverage
  • There have been over 181K mentions of university or campus police among AAU schools, with 34% of that conversation being negative
  • Online mentions of the topic have steadily increased (see below)


Top Online News Coverage (Last 6 Months):




Source: Brandwatch + BuzzSumo


Screen Shot 2021-04-15 at 1.54.08 PM.png


Police forces, including those with university affiliations, are increasingly looking to build trust and goodwill by telling stories of positive community impact. Similarly, they are looking to educate the public on training processes and education initiatives in anticipation of criticism amid heightening tension.

In one notable example, West Virginia University released a Q&A around its University Police answered by the WVU police chief. The Q&A highlighted things such as the amount of onboarding and training University Police officers receive and how officers work closely with WVU’s Psychological and Psychiatric Services Department to better understand how to handle or de-escalate certain situations on campus.