Rutgers University Police Department Chief Kenneth Cop has refused to accept that any of the department’s powers have been taken away due to any clashes with the New Brunswick Police Department.
Cop said he does not consider New Brunswick Today’s headline “NBPD Director Strips Rutgers Police Department of Off-Campus Law Enforcement Powers” to be accurate. Rather, the changes are a part of a periodic review that RUPD holds with NBPD to allot RUPD officers the areas where they can enforce traffic rules.
“We periodically review the areas where RUPD can enforce traffic rules in the city,” he said. “It is at the discretion of New Brunswick to authorize where we can write parking tickets.”
New Brunswick Today reported that unless the matter concerns a “life safety issue” across the city, Rutgers police have received orders to stand down.
But Cop said the agreement is strictly related to motor vehicle rules and does not limit RUPD’s ability to make arrests or criminal charges.
“As far as criminal cases are concerned, New Brunswick doesn’t limit our authority,” he said. “It’s pretty much in line with what we had before and no powers have been taken away.”
The police chief said as RUPD has not yet signed the agreement, he would not release the names of the areas where the police officers would have jurisdiction.
The police personnel undergo an education period when the geography is explained and several adjustments are made, Cop said. The process is periodic and natural.
He said RUPD’s ability to enforce traffic policies and all criminal statutes still remain in effect on all University campus areas.
“We work together with New Brunswick,” Cop said. “Our end goal is to make a safe environment, provide optimum resources and focus on on-campus [areas].”