Kenneth Cop, chief of the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD), sent a University-wide email on Tuesday highlighting several public safety updates that Rutgers community members should expect to see when returning to campus this fall.
The email focused on updates including access to University facilities, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) observations, online crime reporting, a new public safety application and the decriminalization of marijuana.
With the recent changes in New Jersey regarding the legalization of marijuana, Cop said the University will be providing more information on Rutgers policies regarding the subject this summer, which will include a new University website.
“(University) President Jonathan Holloway convened a University-wide Cannabis Decriminalization Impact Task Force earlier this year to consider the overall impacts the new state law has on University operations and to implement necessary policy and procedural changes before the Fall 2021 semester,” he said. “Rutgers must also consider the requirements of federal law regarding the possession, distribution and use of cannabis — recreational or medicinal — on Rutgers property and in campus facilities.”
In terms of returning to campus, Rutgers—Newark and Rutgers—New Brunswick facilities will no longer use the “card only access” model that was introduced in March 2020 as of this coming Tuesday, he said. Though, Rutgers—Camden will continue to use this model and will require the use of an RUID to gain access to facilities at this time.
“Given that face coverings will be commonplace, faculty, staff and students must have their Rutgers ID cards on their person at all times and are strongly encouraged to display their ID while on campus and/or in Rutgers buildings,” Cop said.
In regard to COVID-19 safety, he said the University has introduced an observation report form that students should fill out if they believe individuals are in violation of safety protocols listed in the Guide to Returning to Rutgers. While he said they are optimistic that everyone will follow these requirements, this form is an additional way to help keep the community safe.
In addition, Cop announced that the RUPD launched a new mobile app, Rave Guardian, that is designed to enhance campus safety. The app is available to all Rutgers community members subscribed to the Emergency Notification System and has replaced the previous 69050 system for non-emergency text messaging effective as of Tuesday.
He reminded students that they can use the Rutgers Internet Police Reporting System to file an online police report for minor crimes that occurred within the communities of the three Rutgers campuses.