The annual Clery Report was sent to the campus body in the beginning of the fall semester and documents criminal and fire incidents at NJIT from 2016 to 2018. For a campus in the middle of a city, NJIT is reported to be relatively safe. Yet, like every other campus, NJIT does experience occasional crime.
The report’s introduction says that “As you will see in this report, NJIT has had little serious crime, but such incidents do occur and all crime is serious to the victim and community.”
There was a decline in serious crimes, with robbery going from three cases in 2016 to two in 2017 and dropping to zero in 2018. Burglary remains a relatively greater issue with five cases over the course of 2018—down from six in 2016 and seven in 2017. This is still low when considering our city setting.
The highest data points are seen in liquor and drug law violations, with liquor violation arrests reaching 75 in 2018, a jump from the one arrest that occurred in 2016. Drug violation arrests have been reduced from 25 in 2016 to 16 in 2018 alongside fewer referrals. Unlike liquor and drug violations, the number of weapon arrests remains low, totaling two in 2016 and none since.
It must also be noted that these numbers reflect the NJIT campus area, non-campus areas and public property. Thus, a closer analysis of the data shows that the already relatively low numbers are reduced further when examining only campus areas.
There have also been no reported fires in any of NJIT’s on-campus residences in the last three years that were reported, and NJIT was compliant with staging four fire drills per building in 2018.
While these numbers may reflect the safety of our campus, this report does not provide an excuse for students, faculty and staff to become ignorant of their surroundings. The Clery Report enforces the idea that, “Students, faculty, and staff share in the responsibility of protecting themselves and their possessions.”
Public Safety addressed these concerns during an interview where they explained that by implementing new educational programs, they hope that students, staff and faculty will be self-reliant in certain situations.
In relation to self-responsibility, the recently implemented Alert, Lock down, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (A.L.I.C.E.) training has helped encourage critical decision making in students, faculty and staff alike. This program is used as training for active shooting situations, but it differs from previous versions because of its non-linear style.
Public Safety Lieutenant Mark Cyr championed this new approach because it gave “encouragement for decision making.”
“The key word is empowerment,” Cyr continued. “The empowerment is to take action and evacuate, if necessary, to save your life.”
Combined with A.L.I.C.E., Public Safety has updated their Emergency Operation Plan (EOP) in collaboration with NJIT offices alongside the Department of Homeland Security. Police Chief Joseph Marswillo explained that the department is currently undergoing a seven-step program meant to test the capabilities of communication, internal response and eventually recovery in case of a major on-campus or city-wide emergency. Following each phase of the program, the department debriefs and assesses their decisions.
Ultimately, it is the combination of a productive Public Safety department alongside an educated and observant campus population that bring down the likelihood of crime. Through programs such as A.L.I.C.E., the hope is that students, staff and faculty will have the required resources in case of an emergency, big or small. “At the end of the day,” Chief Marswillo explained, “[they] help you prepare accordingly.”