12 security cameras added off campus on College Avenue

Wards 5 and 6 in Downtown New Brunswick have had the cameras since August

<p>The Rutgers—New Brunswick chancellor’s office, the Rutgers University Student Assembly, the Rutgers University Police Department and the City of New Brunswick collaborated to bring 12 new security cameras to the city.</p>

The Rutgers—New Brunswick chancellor’s office, the Rutgers University Student Assembly, the Rutgers University Police Department and the City of New Brunswick collaborated to bring 12 new security cameras to the city.

Off-campus students on the College Avenue campus now have a little more peace of mind walking home at night with the activation of new security cameras.

Twelve cameras have been installed across the fifth and sixth wards in Downtown New Brunswick because of a partnership between the Rutgers—New Brunswick chancellor’s office, the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA), the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) and the city of New Brunswick, according to a press release.

The cameras have been in use since August. Rutgers University Public Safety coordinated their installation on utility poles throughout New Brunswick’s fifth and sixth wards through a program funded by the chancellor’s office and RUSA.

 “These cameras bolster our commitment to the safety of the Rutgers and New Brunswick communities, and are an important new step in the RUPD’s longstanding partnership with the Rutgers—New Brunswick chancellor’s office and RUSA,” said Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of University Police Kenneth Cop. “For our partnership with the City of New Brunswick, these cameras are a valuable new investigative tool."

The cameras are intended to deter crime and aid in police investigations. They have been found to be “a valuable tool in policing and public safety” by local law enforcement, according to the press release.

“Advanced technology has been a proven asset to the law enforcement community,” said New Brunswick Police Department Director Anthony A. Caputo. “The addition of these cameras will strengthen our resources and commitment to keep our students and residents safe in New Brunswick.”

Last year, Rutgers reported 30 incidents of rape, seven more than 2016 and 271 drug arrests — up from 172 in 2016 and 100 in 2015, according to the Targum

RUSA President Suzanne Link added that the addition of these cameras will be a useful tool in helping local police deter crime. 

“The implementation of security cameras is critical in creating a safer environment for Rutgers students and members of the greater New Brunswick community. The cameras will deter crime and allow the RUPD and NBPD to share information, which is necessary to solve crimes and stop repeat offenders,” she said in the press release.

This is the latest initiative to up safety protocols in New Brunswick following a merger of the City’s 9-1-1 dispatch line with the University’s own emergency services. 

The plan is estimated to save the City $2.6 million over the next five years with New Brunswick police and fire dispatch services ran by the University through the RUPD headquarters on Commercial Avenue and George Street, according to myCentralJersey.com.

Earlier this year, Mayoral Candidate and Rutgers alumnus Charlie Kratovil spoke about his work in helping New Brunswick avoid privatization of dispatch services at a rally in front of the Rutgers Public Safety Building, according to The Daily Targum. 

Kratovil celebrated the transition of eight city dispatchers into full-time salaried positions who, when the merger was first announced in June, were not secured new positions, according to myCentralJersey.com. 

“Through collaborations such as joint patrols in the off-campus neighborhoods; a recently completed shared 9-1-1 service agreement between Rutgers and the City of New Brunswick; and this camera project, our departments are even better positioned to work in sync and respond to public safety concerns,” said Mayor James Cahill (D-N.J.) in the press release.

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