By Raphaella Abhad, Ariel Cunningham, Maxine Macias and David Schilip
Students at Rutgers University-Newark and The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) could misunderstand the role of a campus police officer. Are campus cops allowed to arrest students or just detain them? Rutgers and NJIT campus police were asked what their duties are on campus.
According to RUPD police officer Travis Davis, “The RUPD is a full fledged police department just like a municipal police agency.”
Davis said that if an arrest is made, the arrestees are transported to RUPD headquarters for processing.
“It is a real arrest and will appear on your criminal record,” Davis added.
Tamara Chambers, Assistant Prosecutor at Essex County, said, “Campus police can detain and give the detainee a summons. Newark Police are the only ones that can make an official arrest.”
Matthew Golden, Vice President of Communications at NJIT, spoke on how NJIT police officers have the same roles as Newark police officers.
According to Chambers, “NJIT police officers, like Rutgers, can’t arrest, but they can detain or hand out summons.” Unlike Newark police officers, NJIT campus cops cannot arrest people. They can detain a person until the Newark Police apprehend them.
As of March, Chancellor Nancy Cantor of RU-N joined forces with Chancellor Brian Strom of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Services (RBHS) in an effort to increase security for students, faculty, and staff members on and off-campus.
This new collaboration will also include crime alerts that occur off-campus. When questioned about crime alerts, Chief Huertas of RUPD suggested that students check the Safety Matters and Clery handbook.
They’re publicly provided on the Rutgers Police website to help students and anyone else interested in learning more about what crimes must be reported.
Not all crimes on blotter reports are sent out as crime alerts. In the hopes of making the city of Newark a safer place, campus cops need to know their duties as campus police officers in order to provide security for the community.