Northern Star Student Newspaper Calls for Removal of Campus Police Chief

Sometimes, the headline says it all: “NIU Police Chief Donald Grady needs to be removed from his position.”

The Northern Star, the student newspaper at Northern Illinois University, is publicly calling for the ouster of the campus police chief previously praised for his bravery during the shooting at the school last year. According to the Star, university administrators, and area law enforcement officials, apart from that day’s courage, Grady has built up a reputation as contentious, polarizing, and hostile (to borrow a few words from the Star editorial). According to the piece, “Stories of Grady screaming and being described by those on the receiving end of the tirades as ‘crazed’ and having ‘lost it’ are growing horrifically commonplace among university employees from all walks of campus. One official even described him as ‘not fit to be a police officer.'”

Thanks to the attention provoked by the editorial, Grady is currently serving a 30-day suspension and awaiting word on his permanent fate. During his tenure though, he apparently cut off communication with other local law enforcement agencies and often withheld crime reports from the press that are commonly released everywhere else nationwide without prompting. He has not even released a report on the school shooting! The final straw: a recent heated interview between Grady and Star editor in chief Justin Weaver. The Chicago Tribune reports that Grady turned it into an “hours-long tirade” that included threats against Weaver. Grady then also “allegedly held out the possibility of a job for Weaver if a positive story was written.”

My first reaction is BRAVO. It shows the courage of the student press to stand up to this guy when apparently many others wanted to but were too scared or busy to make it a public issue. My second reaction is HOW SAD, specifically that it took a newspaper editorial to finally force some real action on an issue NIU admins. seemingly should have recognized and dealt with long ago.

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  1. […] collegemediatopia this year is finally over, nearly four full months after it first played out. ¬†As I previously posted, the alternately combative and heroic Northern Illinois University campus police chief had been […]