RUPD discusses new safety measures to prevent theft, other commonly reported crimes in New Brunswick
New police safety measures are helping combat one of the city's most reported crimes, theft.
Kenneth Cop, chief of police for the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD), said the most common type of theft in New Brunswick is that of unattended property and, as a result, RUPD is taking tentative steps to increase vigilance and utilize strategic patrolling on and off campus.
“We are making a more well-informed community,” Cop said. “We have expanded our security camera coverage to include the off-campus community, as well as better information sharing with New Brunswick officials.”
Earlier this month, RUPD, in conjunction with Rutgers, installed 12 new cameras across 5th and 6th Wards in Downtown New Brunswick and consolidated its 911 dispatch services with those of the University, The Daily Targum reported.
“It’s a more efficient way of operating, it’s a safer way of operating and it's better communication and information sharing,” Cop said. “Anything that can better the connection between Rutgers and New Brunswick is always a positive.”
Brian Emmett, lieutenant of the RUPD Detective Bureau, said RUPD consistently does public outreach. It conducts a yearly survey where it found 88 percent of Rutgers students said they feel safe "on campus all of the time or most of the time," — a 10-percent increase compared to 2017.
Emmett said RUPD carefully observes every incident as it comes into the department, and reshapes patrols accordingly. Any area which sees an influx of crime will immediately receive more attention by RUPD and the New Brunswick Police Department.
“We continue to evaluate these specific places of New Brunswick, based on the data we receive, and then adjust our patrols and concentration in the area as we see necessary,” Emmett said. “We always rely on the best data we have to ensure the student's safety.”
Public safety can provide students with personal escorts to anyone who is walking alone on campus at night, Emmett said.
“Having a personal safety plan is probably the best advice I can give,” he said. “Know where you are going, try to stay in a group and keep in well-lit places. And if a student can’t do any of that, the Public Safety Department can help you with that.”
Cop said his department runs under what he calls "community policing philosophy," which means he wants all of his officers to do as much community outreach as possible. The community policing unit’s core goal is to better understand residents and establish the best policing method to ensure everyone's safety.
“We always want students to be aware of us and what we can provide for them,” Cop said. “Our goal is to always find out what is happening at both Rutgers and New Brunswick and come up with the best possible resolutions.”