Lampitt & Mosquera Bill to Improve Internal Communication on Campus Safety Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation Would Require College Presidents to Issue Reports on Campus Crimes, Fires

Legislation Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt and Gabriela Mosquera sponsored to ensure that decision makers at institutions of higher learning are kept abreast of on-campus emergencies was advanced by an Assembly panel on Thursday.

The bill (A-1976) would require the president of a public college or university to report recent on-campus crimes, fires and other emergencies to the institution’s governing board during each of its regular meetings.

“The governing boards of New Jersey’s public colleges and universities have a responsibility to create the safest learning environment possible for students,” said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). “Making sure that they are aware of issues that may compromise the security of the campus will better equip governing boards to carry out that duty.”

As required by the bill, the reports would include:

– a count and classification of all criminal incidents which occurred on campus and which were recorded by campus security and campus or local police departments
– a count and classification of all fire incidents which occurred on campus and which were recorded by campus security and local fire departments; and
– a list of campus alerts, threats or emergencies which occurred on campus.

“When it comes to events that may impact the wellbeing of students and employees at a college or university, the stakes are too high for members of the governing board to be ill-informed,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). “The simple internal communication this legislation requires can help make campuses across New Jersey safer.”

The reports also may include: the status of all investigations of crimes or fires, the type and nature of any discipline imposed on any student or employee identified as causing or contributing to such acts or events, and any other measures imposed, training conducted or programs implemented to reduce the incidence of such acts and events.

The bill, which the Senate approved unanimously, was advanced by the Assembly Education Committee.