RUSA and RUPD work to install security cameras off-campus
The Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) is optimistic that by the end of the year, they will be able to put their plan of implementing off-campus cameras into action.
“Having off-campus cameras is very important for creating a safer environment for Rutgers students and for our community. Off-campus cameras will allow our police department to better track down those who commit crimes, and stop repeat offenders from breaking the law,” said Justin Schulberg, president of RUSA and School of Arts and Sciences senior.
RUSA is partnering with the Rutgers University Police Department in order to make off-campus cameras a reality, Schulberg said.
He said RUSA hopes to help pay for a few of the cameras and help to place them in strategic areas that would help RUPD deter crime.
The idea of off-campus cameras was created by RUPD, said Tyrus Jackson, RUSA University Affairs chair and an Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy senior.
Evan Covello, RUSA vice president and an Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy junior, said RUSA and RUPD are partnering together to ensure Rutgers students and the New Brunswick community are as safe as possible, and this initiative has been brought up before to improve public safety.
“This is a proactive approach to deter crime and make our community safer,” Covello said. “While this initiative may not have been spurred by a single incident, it makes you think about the incidents this past year that we received crime alerts for, and how security cameras could have played a great role in catching criminals and make us all safer.”
While there is no single way to stop crime off campus, Covello said he hopes camera will increase surveillance off campus, can make the University the safest it can be for the student body and New Brunswick community.
RUPD set up a camera on the Off-Campus and Community Partnerships house as a test, in response to an attempted sexual assault.
The department is currently going through a bidding process to figure out how much the new cameras will cost, Jackson said.
“We aren’t sure exactly about funding yet, as RUPD must go through a bidding process to find the best cameras in quality and in price,” Jackson said. “Their bidding process will determine how much we can contribute.”
The length of the bidding process is a hindrance to the timeliness of implementing the off-campus cameras, Covello said. The bidding process is lengthy in order to vet all options and proposals, Covello said.
RUPD is also working with the city of New Brunswick in order to obtain permission to place the cameras in off-campus areas owned by the city, Covello said.
Until the bidding process is complete, RUSA is continuously focusing on funding, Schulberg said.
“We have put money in our budget to do this, but we would be grateful to have the support of other organizations around our university to support this measure as well. We hope to help RUPD with the cost of the new cameras, and hope that other large organizations that care about student safety will also help fund this program.” he said.
RUSA hopes that the implementation of off-campus cameras will deter future crime and make the University safer, Covello said.
“We spend a great deal of time talking to students about their Rutgers experience and campus life, and public safety is brought up more often than not,” he said. Whether this is spurred from receiving crime alerts or from personal experiences, we know that public safety is on the minds of the students of our University.”
Chloe Dopico is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in political science and journalism and media studies. She is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum.