Rowan University police equipped with body cameras

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Rowan University has become the first college in the tristate area to require its campus police officers to wear body cameras. (WPVI)

Rowan University has become the first college in the tristate area to require its campus police officers to wear body cameras.

University police officer Jeremy Rucklin headed out to patrol the sprawling campus and surrounding community wearing a major new piece of gear Tuesday.

This was the second day all the 35 officers were wearing body worn cameras; all are required to wear one during their 12-hours shifts.

They are New Jersey's first officers at a college or university to use the body cameras.

"We do deal with disorderly contact, intoxicated students in general, anything from public urination, open container complaints, those are things we patrol for," Rucklin said.

"We want the cameras to record every incident as they take place so if we receive complaints against officers from the professional standards section or the internal affairs section we can look at what the officers did," Lt. Craig Shute of the Rowan University Police said.

Trenton sanctioned the use of body cameras instead of dashboard cameras last fall. At Rowan, they quickly decided the close-up body camera provides a better look at the incident.

Lt. Shute started at Rowan a quarter century ago.

"During this time period, I watched it go from a security department to a full-fledged police department. We have two gentlemen on SWAT, two of our officers are on emergency response team," Shute said.

From the current 15,000 students, Rowan expects to grow to 25,000 over the next 8 years.

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